FreeMyGrape’s Founder Wins Canadian Wine Champion Award

July 5, 2016 – Kelowna, BC – Congratulations to Shirley-Ann George on winning the 2016 Canadian Wine Champion award!  If there has ever been a champion for open borders to Canadian wines, it is Shirley-Ann. FreeMyGrapes and the Alliance of Canadian Wine Consumers was born from a personal frustration during a 2009 visit to the Okanagan. Denied membership in a BC winery’s club because she was an Ontario resident, Shirley-Ann decided it was nonsense and things had to change. In her working career, Shirley-Ann had fought interprovincial trade barriers. She knew it would be tough to rattle the cage of provincial liquor boards and their political masters, jealously protecting their wine selling fiefdoms and juicy financial cash flows. On the other hand, an egregious barrier needed addressing: time to bring the 21st century to Canada’s wine business and let Canadian consumers get more Canadian wine in a 21st century manner. And so, the Alliance of Canadian Wine Consumers and its website, freemygrapes.ca, was born. This new consumer activism was a wake-up call for politicians and media. Suddenly, the stuffy arcane subject of trade barriers was sexy. “What do you mean I can’t take a bottle of wine to another province – I could go to jail for that? A 1928 federal law could make me a criminal for carrying a bottle of wine from Quebec to Ontario? Is this for real? Aren’t we one country and one market? C’mon, you’re kidding – right?” Alas Virginia, like Santa Claus, it was real. We know the outcomes of the campaign. Through a June 2012 federal amendment to the 1928 Importation of Intoxicating Liquors Act, interprovincial importation of wine for personal use became legal and “FreeMyGrapes” had realized step […]

By |July 5th, 2016|Blog|0 Comments

Nova Scotia Supports Canadian Wine Consumers

FreeMyGrapes applauds the Nova Scotia Government for opening their borders to permit inter-provincial wine sales and delivery, and in doing so, supporting stronger consumer demand for both Nova Scotian and Canadian wine. FreeMyGrapes is the initiative of Alliance of Canadian Wine Consumers (ACWC), an independent, non-partisan, consumer group aimed at ensuring Canadians can buy Canadian wine directly from Canadian wineries. It was established in 2010, after years of frustration with the inability of Canadian consumers to buy direct from out-of-province Canadian wineries. Until today, only British Columbia and Manitoba had fully recognized the spirit of federal Bill C-311, which became law on June 28, 2012, effectively amending the 1928 Importation of Intoxicating Liquors Act (IILA) and eliminating the federal criminal offence for transporting wine across provincial borders. Nova Scotia passed its enabling law in December 2012, and FreeMyGrapes has since been encouraging Nova Scotia to take the final step of implementing regulations to permit direct ordering and delivery from Canadian wineries to Nova Scotia residents for personal use. “I am so pleased to welcome Nova Scotia to the list of provinces that recognize that inter-provincial trade is good for the economy and consumers,” stated Shirley-Ann George, founder and President of ACWC and the FreeMyGrapes initiative. “Nova Scotia has a vibrant wine industry and Canadians should have better access to these products.” FreeMyGrapes strongly urges the remaining seven provincial governments to open their borders to Canadian wine and reduce internal trade barriers. It is not only good for the economy, rural communities and tourism, but widely supported by voters, as evidenced by a Harris-Decima survey that found 82% of Canadians believe inter-provincial wine barriers are unreasonable. “We strongly encourage Canadian consumers restricted from ordering Canadian wine […]

By |June 25th, 2015|Blog|0 Comments
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