Bill to help save Canadian Club Brand Centre goes before government Thursday

Bill to help save Canadian Club Brand Centre goes before government Thursday

A private member's bill asking Ontario's government to allow the owners of the Canadian Club Heritage Brand Centre to sell their whiskey at the historic building will be voted on Thursday.

The bill, sponsored by Windsor-Tecumseh MPP Percy Hatfield, is part of a plan to save the centre.

"It allows those who contract out the manufacturing of their whiskey to sell that product in their brand heritage centre if its within 500 metres of where it's manufacturing," Hatfield explained, adding the brand centre is the only instance in Ontario where the law would apply so it won't be "opening the flood gates."

Not having the ability to sell their famous booze on site was one of the reasons the centre's owners, Beam Suntory, gave for closing the building in March.

In a letter to Hatfield, the company's CEO Matt Shattock wrote the centre is "disadvantaged" because it can't sell whiskey. "Without this change, I am advised the economics would be unlikely to justify re-opening the centre."

The bill will be subjected to a second reading Thursday afternoon, a critical step Hatfield said towards making it a law.

The MPP said he has spoken with the premier and several federal ministers about the important role the centre plays in Windsor so he is "optimistic" the bill will pass.