Easing online sales restrictions a win for vintners and consumers: Dix
KELOWNA – New Democrat Leader Adrian Dix says he’s pleased that Rich Coleman has listened to the wishes of vintners, consumers and the opposition to allow the online sale of wine for personal use.
“Other provinces – notably Manitoba – had taken the lead on this issue and British Columbia was in danger of falling behind,” said Dix. “I know that consumers and vintners had been making the case to the minister for more than a year that this action was vital for the health of the industry in B.C.
“This is the right thing to do and those who have been working so hard to get the government to see the light should be congratulated for their success. I also have to applaud Minister Coleman for taking this very positive step.”
The changes come in the wake of the passage of federal Bill C-311, the Interprovincial Importation of Wine for Personal Use Act. The act is to help small and mid-sized wineries expand their market reach through e-commerce. However, on the day Bill C-311 passed third reading our provincial government did not set the example for other provinces to follow by announcing personal exemptions allowing for on-line orders.
“Soon after, the Manitoba NDP government followed the spirit of the act, making it clear that online sales of wine across its borders are now permitted in the wake of Bill C-311 becoming federal law,” said Dix.
“Vintners and growers are no doubt relieved that these restrictions are being eased in British Columbia. This is great news for the industry.”
Because the responsibility of establishing personal exemptions rests with provincial governments, the passage of Bill C-311 is part of one of a two step process to dismantle inter provincial trade barriers on direct shipments of wine for personal use.
Bill C-311 was on track to become law since last fall, receiving all-party support at every stage. However, the B.C. government did not prepare rules permitting inter-provincial online orders and shipments of wine during the months preceding its final vote and passage in the senate. In contrast, prior to the act receiving royal assent on June 28, Manitoba had rules already in place that could be readily extended to online orders.