Oh my – what a tangled wine web we continue to weave. The interprovincial wine trade mess that we all hoped was en route to being finally brought into the 21st century through federal reforms in June 2012 to the Importation of Intoxicating Liquors Act (IILA), is still with us. To recap, after IILA passed (unanimously in the House of Commons and Senate), British Columbia and Manitoba quickly followed suit, respecting the intent and direction of the federal law and amended their respective rules to allow the direct importation of wine for personal usage. Nova Scotia also made changes in law to allow the same, but we are still awaiting the regulations that will make this effective. Nearly two years later, two recent developments clearly illustrate that wine lovers have a long way to go in being able to get their favourite Canadian wine delivered direct to their door. Alberta, supposedly one of strongest “free traders” in Canadian Confederation, changed its rules – that had previously allowed for personal importation – to now prohibit the same. And most recently, Newfoundland laid charges against FedEx for shipping “contraband liquor” (BC wine) into the province. The case will next be heard in provincial court at the end of June. These developments indicate just how far Canada has yet to go to get beyond the restrict/control/stifle mentality over Canadian wine. Provincial liquor monopolies are still seen as sacred and paramount to common sense and increased trade within Canada. Yet, BC and Manitoba have had open borders for Canadian wine for nigh on two years and the sky has not fallen. The federal government, through Industry Minister James Moore, recently announced that it is (once again), going to attempt […]