Controversial NS wine support program put on hold

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On March 19, Premier Tim Houston put on hold a program he had launched in January of this year. That program, which was intended to provide support to the nova scotia's wine sector, was put on hold because it benefited wine producers who purchased grape juice from outside the province to make wine in Nova Scotia equally that those who produce grapes in Nova Scotia.

Before a packed Provincial House lobby full of Nova Scotia wine producers, Premier Tim Houston unveiled news that wine industry workers from the Wine Growers Nova Scotia association have been waiting for: Nova Scotia's controversial commercial wine producer support program, approved in January of this year, is to be put on hold. This is mainly due to the great rejection received from both the majority of Nova Scotian local wineries and Houston's opposition.  

One of the oppositors of the program, Kody Blois said, “the proposed financial incentive would give an equal benefit to those who bottle wine in Nova Scotia, regardless of whether they have any grape production or ties to the province.” On the other hand, Karl Coutinho, board chair of Wine Growers Nova Scotia and president of Avondale Sky Winery, said that "We'll go back to the table and discuss with our industry, the farm wine industry of Nova Scotia, wine growers of Nova Scotia, grape growers of Nova Scotia, tourism, let's have all the people at the table to understand the impact of a decision like this and come up with a better program going forward."

The commercial wine support program, that intended to push local producers from Nova Scotia, consisted of providing economic support to both Nova Scotia wine producers who import grape juice from other provinces and the ones who produce grapes in Nova Scotia. And this was, precisely, the central problem of this controversial wine program.

During the conference, Premier Tim Houston said, among other things, that "We should have been consulted from the beginning and I think that this is a positive way forward if we can freeze what's already been done and go back to the starting line and rebuild this together in a collaborative, positive way". In addition, Houston confirmed commercial producers that the subsidy program was not intended to benefit one part of the NS wine sector that buys cheap grape juice from outside of NS to the detriment of all the farm wineries that produce wine from NS grapes.

If you would like to learn more about how this program can help you achieve your goals, our consulting services will be a great tool to help you get the most out of it.

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