2024 ONTARIO WINE INDUSTRY CHAMPION AWARD

This award recognizes champions who are passionate about Ontario wine and industry prosperity, beyond those employed directly in the industry. Each year, Wine Growers Ontario and Ontario Craft Wineries bestow the honour to an individual who does not work in a winery, who has provided exemplary support for the Ontario wine industry through media, research, policy and regulation, education or advocacy, significantly contributing to the overall strength and long-term viability of the industry. This year, we congratulate the Honourable Lisa Thompson, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs and the Honourable Peter Bethlenfalvy, Minister of Finance.

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Lisa Thompson

Mister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs

Lisa Thompson was first elected as the Member of Provincial Parliament for Huron – Bruce in October 2011, and was re-elected in June 2014, June 2018, and June 2022. In the 2018 and 2022 provincial election, Lisa carried more than 50% of the vote, as part of the Ontario PC government.

On June 18, 2021, Lisa was proudly appointed Ontario’s 40th Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs by Premier Doug Ford. After her successful re-election in June 2022, Lisa was reappointed as Minister. Prior to being Agriculture Minister, Lisa served as Minister of Government and Consumer Services, Ontario’s Registrar General and Minister of Education. Additional to her parliamentary roles, Lisa is honoured to represent Ontario as Chair for Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians—Canada Region.

Lisa was born and raised near Wingham in Huron County, but now calls Bruce County home as she lives near Teeswater on a farm that has been in her husband’s family for 122 years. Lisa is a graduate of the University of Guelph and is also an alumnus of Class 6 of the Advanced Agricultural Leadership Program and the George Morris Executive Leadership Program. Before entering into politics, Lisa served as the General Manager of the Ontario Dairy Goat Cooperative (ODGC).

Lisa has a long history of being an active and engaged citizen, working with many community organizations. She is a past Chair of the Ontario 4-H Foundation and also served as Vice-chair of Ontario Agri-Food Education Inc. (now known as Agscape).

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Peter Bethlenfalvy

Minister of Finance

Peter Bethlenfalvy is currently serving as the Minister of Finance. He was elected as MPP for Pickering—Uxbridge in 2018. Minister Bethlenfalvy is responsible for ensuring Ontario’s long-term fiscal sustainability.

As Minister of Finance, he is focused on providing the supports Ontario families, workers, and businesses need through the pandemic. As the province charts its long-term recovery, he is working to ensure our health care system, communities and economy are positioned to emerge stronger than ever before.

Through his role as President of the Treasury Board, he was responsible for the province’s internal audit and expenditure management efforts and is the official employer of the province’s public servants. Minister Bethlenfalvy led the creation of Ontario’s Office of the Comptroller General – the first of its kind in any Canadian province – and is Chair of the Audit and Accountability Committee and the Future State Modernization Committee.

He also served as the Minister Responsible for Digital and Data Transformation, and led the government’s modernization initiatives, which are being brought to life through Ontario Onwards: Ontario’s COVID-19 Action Plan. These programs aim to transform how citizens interact with their government by making services more convenient and accessible.