February 22, 2018 QUEEN’S PARK – In question period on Thursday, Windsor-Tecumseh MPP Percy Hatfield called on the Wynne government to do the right thing and save the Canadian Club Brand Heritage Centre in Windsor.
“One would think when you have a facility that attracts 15,000 tourists a year, this government would do everything in its power to save it and keep it open for visitors,” said Hatfield. “It’s a magnificent structure, modeled after palaces in Italy. It has a colourful history of Prohibition, gangsters, gunshots and great Canadian whisky.”
The historical building, built in 1894, was forced to close in 2017. The owners of the building claim that the closure was in part because they are not allowed to sell Canadian Club whisky on site, putting it at a disadvantage. Hatfield tabled a private member’s bill that would remove this restriction but the bill is still awaiting review by a legislative committee.
“Why does this Liberal Government continue to wash its hands of helping with a solution so the doors of this superb facility can reopen to the public?” asked Hatfield. “Any micro distiller in Ontario can sell its spirits on site. Canadian Club whiskey has been made at this distillery for more than 100 years.”
“Why can’t the Liberals cut the red tape, modernize Ontario’s regulations, and allow Canadian Club Whisky to be sold where it’s made – in Walkerville Ontario – and bring back those 15,000 tourists who want to see the facility each year -and maybe – just maybe - buy a bottle of Canadian Club whisky on their way out of the door?”
While Hatfield’s questions were directed to new Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport Daiene Vernile, she passed the question off to the Minister of Finance.