Maple syrup claim creates sticky dispute between New Brunswick, Ontario

When it comes to maple syrup production in Canada, Quebec dominates, but a claim by Ontario of being second has left a sour taste in the mouths of some producers in New Brunswick.

A new television commercial meant for the Ontario market says that province is second in production, but the claim is disputed by New Brunswick.

Louise Poitras, executive director of the New Brunswick Maple Syrup Association, says Ontario was only second in 2018 – when New Brunswick had a bad year – and otherwise her province has outproduced Ontario every year since 2012.

“It was the only year in the last seven years that new Brunswick wasn’t ranked second,” Poitras said.

According to Statistics Canada, Quebec produces more than 90 per cent of maple syrup in Canada. New Brunswick has been in second place since 2008, with the exception of 2009, 2011 and 2018, when that position was held by Ontario.

Ray Bonenberg of the Ontario Maple Syrup Producers’ Association said the commercial was produced late last year when the 2018 figures were still the most recent, and there was no intent to deceive.

“We said to the New Brunswick folks, ‘Sorry that you feel annoyed but it’s not inaccurate.’ We didn’t do this on purpose,” he said.

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