One year later what are you waiting for?

On June 28, 2012, the federal government rectified an eighty-four year old, prohibition-era law that made it a criminal offence for Canadians to carry or ship wine across provincial borders. Parliament’s support for Bill C-311 was unanimous and we thank all the parties in both the House and Senate for taking this important step towards freeing Canadian wine from this archaic legislation.

FreeMyGrapes, a national non-profit founded by wine lovers who want access to all Canadian wines, also congratulates the leadership shown by British Columbia and Manitoba to permit their citizens to order wine directly from out of province wineries. Last December, we were hopeful that Nova Scotia would also become a leader in supporting Canadian wines when it passed enabling legislation, yet seven months later, the regulations are still in limbo. Hopefully, this situation will change soon.

Unfortunately, the fears we expressed during the Parliament and Senate hearings on Bill C-311 have proven true. The federal legislation’s caveat “in quantities and as permitted by the laws of the latter province” has created a large I-can-do-nothing loophole.

The latest update by Winelaw’s Mark Hicken highlights how eleven provinces/territories are still dragging their feet. While many have stated that they now allow individuals to physically carry a set amount of wine into the province for personal use, this policy change is of little value. We all know it has been a common practice for decades, with literally no enforcement.

Adult Canadians want out-of-province wineries to direct ship to them, which was confirmed by a 2012 – Harris/Decima poll that showed 82 percent of Canadians believe they should be able to access wine from another province through online purchasing. Canadians want to support great Canadian wines, from coast-to-coast-to-coast.

One year post Bill C-311, Canadians are still asking – what are you waiting for?

For more information, media please contact:
Shirley-Ann George
P: 613-293-8487