B.C. New Democrats welcome passage of wine bill in Ottawa
Important step towards breaking down interprovincial trade barriers for wine
VICTORIA– B.C. New Democrat leader Adrian Dix and agriculture critic Lana Popham welcomed the passage of Bill C-311, Interprovincial Importation of Wine for Personal Use, in Ottawa today, an important step forward in striking down interprovincial trade barriers that impact our wine industry. They also urged the provincial government to take a lead role in giving force to the act through establishing personal exemptions for other provinces to match.
"The passing of Bill C-311 is a positive step towards modernizing rules that currently get in the way of small and mid-size wineries expanding their sales and profile through online sales and shipments to out of province customers. Breaking down interprovincial trade barriers also requires the provincial government to take a lead role in ensuring provinces now move toward setting personal exemption limits that will allow wine lovers to enjoy B.C. wines after they leave our province," said Dix.
The 1928 Importation of Intoxicating Liquors Act forbids wine from crossing provincial borders except when it is received by a provincial liquor board, a rule that disproportionately affects smaller wineries that cannot get shelf space at provincial liquor stores. Bill C-311, introduced by Okanagan MP Dan Albas, amends the statute to allow for a personal exemption so out-of-province consumers can receive online orders, and legally return with vintages after their travels.
Changing the federal law is one step in dismantling this barrier, since establishing the personal exemption rests with provincial governments.
"We need to sustain the momentum necessary to ensure exemptions are put in place. Such changes nationwide will allow mid-size and small wineries across the Southern Interior, Vancouver Island, and the Gulf Islands, to increase their profiles and revenue streams," said Popham.