December 9th, 2020
After small Canadian distilleries stepped up for Canadians, Liberals leave them high and dry
PORT ALBERNI— After small local distilleries produced tens of thousands of litres of hand sanitizer for free for months during the pandemic, the Liberal government thanked them by turning around and giving paid contracts to large companies like Fluid Energy Group and Irving Oil. New Democrats are calling on the government to acknowledge the invaluable contribution made by these small, local businesses with more financial support.
“For months, distilleries across the country dropped everything and started producing hand sanitizer to help people stay safe and stop the spread of the virus in their communities. Hand sanitizer was in such high demand and, in most places, it was almost impossible to get. These businesses stepped up and helped out even though this meant they weren’t making the products they got paid to make,” said NDP Critic for Small business, Gord Johns. “After small businesses did this at a financial loss, it’s really a slap in the face that this government then paid huge companies to do the work they’d been doing for free.”
Distilleries across the country produced tens of thousands of litres of hand sanitizer during the first wave of the pandemic despite having to close their doors to the public and losing their source of income. New Democrats have been advocating for increased supports to small businesses since the beginning of the pandemic, including backdating the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) to April 1st.
“Sadly, this is just another example of how the Liberals have turned their backs on small businesses in this country. We’ve had to fight them to increase commercial rent support and the wage subsidy every step of the way,” added Johns. “It's not surprising the government sided with huge companies instead of hardworking, everyday Canadians, but it is disappointing. These people are the backbone of our local economies and communities – they deserve better from the federal government.”