LCBO selling Norman Hardie wines again following misconduct allegations
By The Canadian Press
WELLINGTON, Ont. – The LCBO is putting Norman Hardie wines back on its shelves, nearly six months after the brand was pulled amid sexual harassment allegations against the popular winemaker.
The Liquor Control Board of Ontario said Tuesday that after “careful review and consideration” it is reinstating its regular supply of Norman Hardie Winery products.
The provincial retailer says it will begin restocking inventory in the coming weeks and let customers decide if they want to purchase the wines.
In June, the LCBO, along with Quebec’s liquor commission and various restaurants across the country, pulled the beverages off their shelves and menus after the Globe and Mail reported numerous sexual misconduct allegations, including unwanted sexual contact and inappropriate remarks.
At the time, Hardie told the newspaper he did not “physically grab people or touch them against their will,” but later confirmed a former employee’s claim that he tried to kiss her on her first day of work.
He later apologized to those who felt “marginalized, demeaned or objectified” while working alongside him at his winery in Wellington, Ont., in Prince Edward County, just east of Toronto.
Hardie said he had been working for several years to change his behaviour and had hired an “independent adviser” to conduct a review of the workplace culture at his winery.
“I am pleased with the LCBO’s decision to resume sales of our wines,” said Norman Hardie, in an email on Tuesday. “We have taken several steps over the past several months to ensure our winery is a safe and respectful workplace and am grateful for the support of many long-time past and present employees of the winery, friends in the community and loyal customers during this time.”
The Societe des alcools du Quebec (SAQ) says it still does not carry Norman Hardie wines in its stores or online.