Federal authorities publicizes $ 101 million in wine business funding

Canada's wine industry receives a federal boost in funding as winemakers prepare to lose an excise tax exemption.

Niagara Center MP Vance Badawey was in Niagara-On-The-Lake yesterday to announce $ 101 million for the industry over two years starting next year.

The money will be used to develop a program for the wine sector to help local wineries adapt to current and emerging challenges.

The announcement comes as winemakers face 50 cents per bottle after a challenge by the Australian World Trade Organization against an excise tax exemption.

The excise tax exemption was first announced in 2006 to spur local producers, but Australia questioned the blessing and Canada agreed to lift the tax exemption by the end of June next year.

The Australians had argued that the exception gave Canadian winemakers an unfair home advantage over Australians.