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Increasing the flow of wine among Québec, Ontario and BC

Staff Writer |
The governments of Québec, Ontario and British Columbia will work together to ensure consumers have expanded access to wines produced in their provinces.

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Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, Québec Philippe Couillard and British Columbia Premier Christy Clark said today they are committed to improving the on-line ordering experience for consumers.

Their objective is to provide consumers with full and easy access to on-line purchases of any wine produced in all three provinces.

This includes increasing consumer awareness of the variety of wines coming from these important winery regions of Canada. It also includes expanding wineries' ability to list their products with the liquor distributors of each province.

Québec, Ontario and British Columbia will work together to make these changes through their respective distribution branches, respectively the Société des alcools du Québec (SAQ), the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) and the Liquor Distribution Branch (LDB).

The British Columbia wine industry has a $2 billion impact on BC’s strong and diverse economy, with more than 320 wineries in the province.

This agreement builds on previous announcements to offer greater access to BC wines across Canada in Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Nova Scotia.

Ontario now has more than 240 wineries, and the industry has created 2,000 direct jobs.

Ontario is working to have beer and cider available for sale in up to 150 grocery stores by May 1, 2017. Wine will be introduced alongside beer in up to 300 grocery stores, starting with 70 additional stores in the fall of 2016. Ultimately, up to 450 grocery stores provincewide could sell beer and cider.

This will give Ontarians more convenience and choice, while maintaining a strong commitment to social responsibility.

In Ontario, the LCBO had another record year in 2015–16, with sales of $5.57 billion, up 6.8 per cent year over year. It paid a dividend of $1.935 billion to Ontario, an increase of $130 million, generating revenue to help fund key government services like health care and education.

In 2015–2016, Québec’s SAQ was composed of 406 stores, more than 7,500 employees and carried 13,500 products from 77 countries.

In Québec, the SAQ ended 2015–2016 with sales of $3.073 billion, up 2.2 per cent year over year.

Revenue for the Québec government from the SAQ’s dividends totalled $1.067 billion in 2015–2016, an increase of 3.2%, with the revenue being used for different government programs and services.

The SAQ’s on-line gross sales for the year 2015–2016 represented more than $100 million, which was twice the total in 2011–2012. The sales of wines produced in Québec have also tripled since 2011.

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