TORONTO, April 7, 2017 – The restaurant industry welcomes the new Canada Free Trade Agreement, unveiled today, as it is more inclusive. The old agreement only dealt with a few select sectors, while today’s agreement includes most sectors. However, beer, wine and spirits are still excluded, which maintains the biggest internal trade barriers and significantly drives up costs for the restaurant industry.

“We appreciate that Federal Minister Navdeep Bains acknowledges the challenges restaurants face due to provincial alcohol monopolies,” said Joyce Reynolds, Restaurants Canada’s Executive Vice President, Government Affairs. “It makes no sense that restaurants have to pay more for a bottle of wine from a neighbouring province and have less selection, than someone purchasing it from outside the country.”

Restaurants Canada is encouraged that a provincial working group has been established to make recommendations to liberalize alcohol trade in Canada within the year.

“We hope the provinces are truly committed to putting their protectionist approaches to alcohol aside, and will honour the intent of the CFTA,” said Reynolds. “At that time, restaurants will applaud this free trade agreement.”

Restaurants Canada is a growing community of 30,000 foodservice businesses, including restaurants, bars, caterers, institutions and suppliers. We connect our members from coast to coast, through services, research and advocacy for a strong and vibrant restaurant industry. Canada’s restaurant industry directly employs 1.2 million Canadians, is the number one source of first jobs, and serves 18 million customers every day.

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