Nicholls pushes back against calls for Kingsville winery boycott
Published Tuesday, July 30, 2019 5:55PM EDT
Chatham-Kent-Leamington MPP of the PC Party, Rick Nicholls, and Premier Doug Ford visit Pelee Island Winery on July 23, 2019. (Courtesy Doug Ford via Twitter)
Chatham-Kent-Leamington MPP Rick Nicholls is pushing back against the criticism targeted at his party and a Kingsville winery that spread like wildfire on Monday.
A trending topic on Twitter, #BoycottPeleeWinery, which called for the boycott of Pelee Island Winery in Kingsville, became the most popular subject on the social media platform in Canada on Monday.
Many users were upset by donations made to the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario by the winery’s president Walter Schmoranz, totaling $2,050 — arguing the donations were another example of “cronyism” displayed by the Doug Ford-led government.
One of donations was made just weeks before a video was released on Premier Ford’s taxpayer-funded personal communications service ‘Ontario News Now.’
Both the premier and Nicholls appeared in the video which encouraged people to buy wine from the Kingsville producer.
“So what?” asked Nicholls of the video’s timing. “The fact we happened to be down there? This was in the making long before.”
Nicholls feels calls for a boycott are out of line.
“He produces a good product and as a result of that he’s adding to the economy, what more could you ask? The fact he chooses on a personal note to donate to a particular party, that’s his business,” said Nicholls. “It’s nobody else’s business.”
Toronto publication Queen’s Park Today reports Ontario News Now has highlighted four other businesses run by contributors to the PC Party.