Premier Christy Clark reaffirmed her support to enhance the movement of wine across provincial boundaries at a ‘Free My Grapes’ rally today in Penticton.
By eliminating a federal restriction, Bill C-311 will allow the importation of wine across provincial boundaries for personal consumption within guidelines established by provinces.
“Our government stands behind B.C. winemakers. Some of the best wines in the world are produced here in B.C. and all Canadians should be able to enjoy our quality vintages,” said Premier Clark. “MP Albas’ private member’s bill will benefit wineries across our province and help maintain jobs in B.C.”
MP Dan Albas’ private member’s bill aims to amend the ‘Importation of Intoxicating Liquors Act, 1928’ to allow provinces to determine how, and in what quantities, consumers can import wine from other provinces. Both the BC Jobs Plan and BC Agrifoods strategies established commitments to working with B.C.’s federal and provincial partners to open up domestic markets for wine.
“I welcome the support from Premier Clark in putting an end to regulatory red tape that prevents the interprovincial movement of wine,” said Okanagan – Coquihalla MP Dan Albas. “Opening up the Canadian marketplace to B.C. wine producers will benefit our local wine industry and help increase tourism opportunities in the process.”
“B.C. has hundreds of wineries and vineyards that have become some of our province’s greatest tourism draws,” said the minister responsible for liquor, Rich Coleman. “As a result of this legislation, Canadians will have increased access to the fabulous wine we produce here in British Columbia.”
If Bill C-311 passes and the federal restrictions on personal importation of wine between provinces are lifted, discussions between provinces to determine importation amounts can begin. Each province will have the authority to determine in what manner these importations can occur and ensure any changes take place with minimal revenue or trade issues.