Dear Minister Flaherty:
I write today on behalf of Mr. Cal Craik, of Okanagan Barrel Works, Ltd., Oliver, BC, to urgently request that you take immediate steps to alleviate the harm which is being done to his business as a result of the import tax reduction on finished barrels from Europe. Okanagan Barrel Works, Ltd is Canada’s only barrel manufacturer and this import tax advantage is making European barrels more competitive on the market than his.
Mr. Craik has been waiting for the government to act on his behalf to no avail since last March and since that time his business has been suffering. To date he has heard nothing from either Minister Stockwell Day’s office or the Finance Ministry, other than boiler plate messages saying that his issue is of concern and is being looked into.
Mr. Craik needs to know what, if any, steps will be taken by the government to alleviate the harm this tax policy is having on his business. In his letters and phone calls Mr. Craik has suggested the following remedies:
- Reinstate the 3% duty
- Compensate the barrel industry by the same amount as the wine industry (approximately $180,000 annually)
- Legislate that of all wine barrels purchased by Canadian wineries, 3% must be made in Canada.
Given the urgency of Mr. Craik’s situation I ask that you provide him the courtesy of informing him what the government plans are, one way or another, as soon as possible. If Okanagan Barrel Works Ltd is to be treated as collateral damage in the interest of expanding the wine trade with Europe then he deserves prompt and respectful consideration from his government.
Alex Atamanenko, M.P.
BC Southern Interior
Cc: Honourable Stockwell Day, P.C., M.P.
Peter Julian, M.P., NDP International Trade Critic
Thomas Mulcair, M.P., NDP Finance Critic
Brian Masse, NDP Industry Critic
Mr. Cal Craik, Okanagan Barrel Works Ltd.