Local MPP Still Hopes To See CC Brand Centre Re-Opened

A local MPP is putting more pressure on the Liberal government to reopen the Canadian Club Brand Centre on Riverside Drive.

A year ago, Percy Hatfield introduced a private member's bill to allow centres, such as the Windsor one, to sell spirits — if it is 500 metres away from where the alcohol is actually made.

The current law allows the distillery to sell its own product on site, but not another brand.

Years ago, Hiram Walker sold the rights of Canadian Club to another distiller. Because it is made by someone else, CC can't be sold at the historic brand centre where it originated.

The company that now owns the brand centre in Windsor closed it last year.

Percy Hatfield rose in Question Period at Queen's Park yesterday to ask the Finance Minister to change the laws to allow the selling of alcohol at that landmark building:

"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 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 on their way out the door," says Hatfield.

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(Photo courtesy of TANGO and Tourism Windsor-Essex & Pelee Island)

Finance Minister Charles DeSousa says it's being looked at.

"We're trying to foster a way, how can we engage in that ability without contravening the very issues that we put in place to protect the distillers and the industry in terms of retailing these operations," says DeSousa.

Mayor Drew Dilkens has also met with the owners of the building to try to get it reopened.