TORONTO, July 26, 2016 – Restaurants Canada applauds the draft trade agreement negotiated by the premiers last week which will improve the free flow of goods and services between provinces. While the agreement is a giant step forward in breaking down provincial trade barriers, the restaurant industry is disappointed that beer, wine and spirits have specifically been excluded from the agreement.
“The omission of alcohol is frustrating,” said Joyce Reynolds, Executive Vice President, Government Affairs at Restaurants Canada. “However, we’re pleased that British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec have agreed among themselves to let customers buy wine produced in other provinces.”
Consumer tastes and preferences don’t stop at provincial borders, and Canada’s restaurants, bars and caterers serve customers who want to enjoy unique products from different regions of the country.
“Provinces must consider businesses, as well as individual customers, when studying alcohol,” added Reynolds. “Freer interprovincial trade would also lead to more competitively priced products, which would be a win for restaurant customers across Canada.”
Restaurants Canada will be meeting with federal officials this week regarding the agreement and next steps. Restaurants Canada’s Raise the Bar report card on provincial liquor policies, released in Nov. 2015, identified interprovincial trade barriers as a detriment to doing business across the country.
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.