Government Decision will foster new Ontario jobs, particularly in hard-hit border communities.

SARNIA, ON, Sept. 2, 2011 /CNW/ - The Ontario Duty Free Association applauds today's decision by the Government of Ontario which will improve land border duty free industry competitiveness and create new jobs for Ontario, particularly in border communities that are among the hardest hit by the reduction in American tourists coming to Ontario.

Today, the Ontario Government announced changes to land border duty free shop purchasing arrangements with the LCBO, designed to level the competitive playing field so the sector can better compete with low-priced U.S. duty free and retail stores.  "The changes will enable us to offer lower prices and recapture sales lost in recent years to U.S. competitors", noted industry representative Tania Lee who went on to say "Due to growing challenges in our competitive export market industry sales fell by ~45% since 2002, resulting in a loss of over 700 Ontario jobs and $7m in Ontario taxes."

Based on an Impact Assessment by Econometric Research Limited -- a leader in economic modeling and impact analysis -- the government change will bolster Ontario's economy by restoring $25 million in gross provincial output, including creation of ~220 new jobs and ~$631K in provincial and municipal tax revenues.

This immediate policy change will enable Ontario's land border duty free shops to reduce retail prices this Fall, step up U.S. marketing and grow sales during the upcoming December holiday season.  "We are very pleased that the government listened to our request for an updated policy in light of today's market realities, and we will work hard to restore the economic benefits Ontario derives from our export sector" concluded Lee.

SOURCE Ontario Duty Free Association

For further information:

Tania Lee, Blue Water Bridge Duty Free, t: 519-332-4680, e:  tlee@bridgedutyfree.com.

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Ontario Duty Free Association

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