In 2017, the Canadian government made an already bad situation worse: the federal budget that year not only increased the excise duties on beverage alcohol products by 2%, it also introduced an automatic annual escalator on those duties. As a result, the amount of money that the federal government collects from all beer, wine and spirits bought and sold within Canada has been going up every year since, without having to face a vote in Parliament.
Excise duties are the first of many federal and provincial markups on beverage alcohol. The cascading effect of these recurring tax hikes means the resulting price increases faced by restaurants and consumers are exponential. The tax escalator unfairly targets Canadian products and jobs, disproportionately hurting Canadian farmers, vintners, distillers, brewers, restaurateurs and their customers.
CALL TO ACTION:
Restaurants Canada has long pushed back against this punitive ‘escalator tax’, and are encouraged by MP Pat Kelly’s recent Private Member’s Bill to repeal the inflation-indexed adjustment to excise duty rates on beer, wine, and spirits.
We are also pleased to see such activity further supported by MP Tracy Gray, who recently launched a House of Commons petition aimed at eliminating the automatic annual inflation-indexed federal tax increases on beer, wine and spirits. The federal alcohol tax went up again last Friday for the sixth time since 2017 without a vote in Parliament. The petition already has over 2,000 signatures and we’re encouraging members to support and share it across their networks.
Please do not hesitate to contact Olivier Bourbeau, (Vice President, Federal & Quebec | Restaurants Canada), for any further information.