B.C. producers crushed by wine bill reception, aim grape gripe at provinces

by The Canadian Press

KELOWNA, B.C. – It’s been exactly one year since parliament passed a private member’s bill aimed at putting some sparkle in Canada’s inter provincial wine trade.

But the executive director of the British Columbia Wine Institute says adoption of Bill C-311 hasn’t done much to uncork prosperity for vineyards across the country.

Miles Prodan says only B.C. and Manitoba have opened their borders to shipments of wine grown elsewhere in Canada, while other provinces have been slow to come onboard.

Supporters of Bill C-311, dubbed Free My Grapes, had hoped provinces — especially Ontario and the Maritimes — would reciprocate if B.C. dropped regulations against importing Canadian-grown wines, but Prodan says that hasn’t been the case.

Okanagan-Coquihalla Conservative MP Dan Albas sponsored the bill after learning prohibition-era legislation was still on the books in 2012, making it illegal for private purchasers to carry even a single bottle of Canadian wine over a provincial boundary.

The federal government, including National Revenue Minister Gail Shea, backed the bill, saying it reduces unnecessary inter provincial trade barriers, while promoting jobs and growth in Canada’s wine industry. (CKFR)




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