Conservatives Oppose New Alcohol Tax

Conservative members of the Finance Committee are taking a strong stand against a tax increase on beer, wine, and spirits that would continue indefinitely into the future. This never-ending tax increase would make these products more expensive for consumers, and would hurt important Canadian industries.

“Our Conservative team is fighting to keep taxes low for all Canadians”, said Foothills MP John Barlow, the Internal Trade Critic. “It is not fair for this industry to be singled out with a tax that keeps increasing forever”

This change to the excise tax was introduced by Justin Trudeau’s Liberals in their 2017 Budget. The tax would cause Canada to have amongst the highest excise duties amongst wine importing countries. In fact, over the past 30 years, excise duties on wine have increased by 125%.

“There are tens of thousands of Canadians across the country who are employed by the wine, beer, and spirits industry – including many here at home in Foothills at Highwood Distillers. Our Conservative team will continue to fight for their jobs and livelihoods.”

“This legislation will negatively impact the industry. For example, Canadian Whisky that is required to age for a minimum 3 years could/will potentially attract 3 price increases before the product can go to market. This would cause increases that cannot be justified, nor supported and result in extreme issues to a category that is overpriced for consumers already. For Highwood Distillers or any Whisky producer, planning for revenue or marketing expenditures would be impossible on a 3 to 30 year old product. This unfeasible business planning premise applies to all other spirit categories as well. Let’s not stunt growth to a Canadian industry that is finally finding its way on the world stage. I would suggest reducing the prices/taxes would have a more positive effect,” said Barry Wilde, President of Highwood Distillers Ltd.

If the Liberal legislation goes through without change, excise taxes on these products will begin increasing annually on April 1st, 2018. Along with hurting these industries and raising prices, it is expected that this change will also hurt our restaurant and tourism industries.

To register your concerns regarding this new tax, please contact Finance Minister Bill Morneau at or write to your local Member of Parliament.