Since the CCBA opened its doors in October 2019 we have been working on behalf of the 1,000+ craft breweries and brewpubs in every province and territory in Canada. One of our most important activities has been our federal government lobbying activities in Ottawa.

We retained the government relations firm Impact Public Affairs and with their help have been meeting with Members of Parliament and government officials. Our message is always the same. Craft breweries invest hundreds of millions of dollars annually into their businesses and their communities, and in many cases become a key driver of new jobs and local economic activity.

Then we challenge the decision makers to name another industry in Canada that’s doing that, and doing it in hundreds of regions — urban, rural and remote — right across the country, and they can’t.

Our message resonates with everyone we talk to. There’s a craft brewery in almost every federal political riding in Canada, and every MP is aware of the contribution “their” brewery or breweries make to the local economy.

We have in the past month communicated directly with the office of the Minister of Finance Bill Morneau, and as recently as last week we met personally with MP Wayne Easter, Chair of the House of Commons Finance Committee. In these and in all our meetings in Ottawa, we explain the importance of providing financial support to our members so they can continue to benefit their communities. And we’ll continue to do that.

However, advocacy in times of crisis is a different animal. Our federal government’s current priority is to respond to the personal needs of its most vulnerable citizens. MPs are focusing on the needs of their constituents back home.

Having said that, we will continue to communicate with government decision-makers, and stay on top of all announcements, particularly those pertaining to fiscal stimulus programs for small business. And we will do our best to ensure craft breweries are provided with the latest information, and will provide assistance where we can to facilitate our members’ access to any benefits that are made available.