May 3, 2017
Queen's Park -- Windsor-Tecumseh MPP Percy Hatfield's private member's bill would allow the owners of the Canadian Club brand to sell their whisky at the Heritage Brand Center. Not being able to do that was one of the reasons given by the foreign owners, Beam Suntory, for closing the historic building at the end of March.
Hatfield’s bill is only one piece of the puzzle – along with work being done by Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens – but it’s a critical piece, if the community hopes to reopen the Heritage Brand Center. Beam Suntory’s Chair and CEO has written Hatfield stating, “The City of Windsor has already made meaningful proposals to support a future for the Heritage Center. We appreciate your personal leadership and hope the Province of Ontario will also do its part to promote a favorable outcome for this iconic part of Windsor’s heritage. Without this change, I am advised that the economics would be unlikely to justify reopening the Center.”
While passage of a bill through second reading doesn’t make a bill a law, yet, it’s a critical stage of the process.