On June 6, 2012, the House of Commons unanimously voted in favor of Bill C-311. The private member’s bill was brought to the House of Commons by Dan Albas, Member of Parliament for Okanagan-Coquihalla. The end result is that it will now be legal for individuals to buy wines for personal consumption in one province and bring them to another.
BlackSquare published an article on C-311 looking at the tangible issues which need to be addressed and how wineries can profit from a vast increase in their direct to consumer user base.
The story has received quite a bit of press recently and here is a list of the most recent and interesting articles on the subject.
- Will Bill C-311 hurt BC wineries? – The short answer is no – News1130 (Vancouver)
- Canadian wine soon to flow freely between provinces – Not just Canadian wine to flow freely, all wine both international and Canadian. – CTV BC
- ‘Free My Grapes’ bill off to senate after MPs vote to revise outdated wine law – The bill has cross party support and also has support in the Senate which will try to pass the bill before the summer break. – Canadian Press
- Wine could flow across provincial borders by summer – Nice quote from Sandra Oldfield from Tinhorn Creek that states “It’s hard to build a relationship with somebody in another province if you can’t send them the wine. So I’m hoping for us this really means that we can get Canadians drinking more Canadian wine.” The article also addresses the sticky issue of what the LCBO and other liquor monopolies will “allow” people to bring into the province, although it is unclear exactly what recourse those organizations have to limit the flow. – CBC
Expect more news to come out closer to the end of June when Bill C-311 should receive final approval and wine drinkers across Canada will be able to enjoy free trade in wine.