September 14th, 2023

MPP Gates to re-introduce solution to help Ontario’s wine industry grow

QUEEN’S PARK - NDP MPP Wayne Gates (Niagara Falls riding) is set to re-introduce legislation that would eliminate the basic tax on Ontario wines and help support the growth of the wine industry in Niagara and across the province.

“Ontario’s wine industry is critically important to the local economy, especially here in Niagara,” said Gates. “My bill is a common-sense approach that will support this valued industry and provide benefits to workers, businesses, and visitors alike.”

Gates’ bill would eliminate the 6.1 per cent basic tax on all on-site retail sales of wines with 100 percent Ontario grapes and VQA wines. This tax is not currently applied to foreign-imported wines – so this bill would provide equal opportunity to Ontario-grown wine.

“Having spoken to local owners, industry experts and workers, I know that we need smart reforms to support the industry,” said Gates. “With policies like this, we have the potential for significant growth that will continue to support good local jobs.

“Working together, I know that we can get this accomplished. We’re lucky to have our wine industry here in Niagara – so let’s do all that we can to support it and ensure it continues to grow.”

Gates was joined by two local wine owners in his announcement today, Jakub Lipinski of Big Head Wines and Bill Redelmeier of Southbrook Vineyards.


  • Gates’ re-introduced bill comes on the heels of the Uncork Ontario report which notes the unique role that the wine industry plays in Niagara’s economy. It highlights this tax burden as one of the main barriers to continued growth.
  • Other jurisdictions like British Columbia and Germany have put similar measures into place.
  • Niagara’s wine industry is the largest in Canada and plays a key role in supporting nearly every aspect of the local economy, from tourism, to education, to next-generation farming & manufacturing to transportation infrastructure.


Aaron Dobbin, CEO, President & Wine Growers Ontario

"Wine Growers Ontario has been calling for this tax on Ontario wineries and tourism to be eliminated for years and appreciates MPP Gates' efforts. This tax is imposed only on Ontario wineries and is one of several issues that are making it even harder for Ontario wineries to compete against highly subsidized imported wines. WGO calls on all members of the Ontario legislature to support the removal of the farmgate tax.”

Richard Linley, President, Ontario Craft Wineries

“No other wine jurisdiction in Canada has a similar tax, which is a tax on Ontario jobs, Ontario small businesses, Ontario farm-families and Ontario agri-tourism. It’s a tax that hinders investment in Ontario’s wine and grape industry. Eliminating this tax will make it easier for small wineries to do business by freeing up funds to invest in their businesses, leading to job creation, retention and economic growth.“