April 22nd, 2024

Sour grapes: N.S. pauses subsidy to wine bottlers that drew ire of wineries

By The Canadian Press on March 19, 2024.

Nova Scotia Premier Tim Houston speaks to reporters in Halifax, Thursday, Feb. 29, 2024. Houston says his government is pausing a controversial subsidy for wine bottlers that drew the ire of the province’s wineries. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darren Calabrese

HALIFAX – Nova Scotia Premier Tim Houston says his government is pausing a subsidy for wine bottlers that the province’s wineries said undercuts their operations.

Houston told dozens of wine producers today at the legislature that he is creating a working group tasked with coming up with a new measure that will satisfy all the players in the sector.

He made the announcement following a meeting late Monday with representatives from the province’s wine industry.

The government is backing away from its new commercial wine support program after drawing heavy fire from opposition parties and the agricultural sector.

Wine makers said the subsidy would have allowed bottling companies to import cheaper grape juice to produce more wine.

The government has been scant on details, but the wine makers say they were told the province had committed between $6 million and $12 million per year through the program.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 19, 2024.

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