Later this year, we will mark two years since the passage of Bill C-311 at the federal level, the first step in opening provincial borders to Canadians who wish to purchase Canadian wine and have it shipped between provinces – to themselves for personal use. There have been some successes, but there is much more to be done to free our grapes.

The good news? BC and Manitoba have opened their borders, and Nova Scotia has announced that they will open their border, although we’ve been waiting for months for the regulations. The bad news? All the remaining provinces refuse to open their borders to direct wine sales and shipments, many only allowing for a meagre amount to be “on your person” while crossing a provincial border.

Even worse? Except for Quebec, the legal burden has shifted from the wineries (the “shippers”), to the consumers and the potential risk is substantial. For example, in Ontario, breaking the liquor act could result in a $100,000 fine, imprisonment for up to one year, or both.

More work is needed — here’s what you can do:

Our efforts have shifted to the laggard provinces and we still need your can help.

  • We have launched an Action Alerts e-newsletter; sign up via the form at the end of this post, or by visiting this link. We’ll only send emails when there is a new development (less than a handful a year).
  • If you live in AB, SK, ON, QC, NB, NS, PEI, NF, please send a letter to your MLA/MPP/MNA voicing your concerns and your desire to free my grapes. We’ve got sample letters ready to go.
  • Join us on Facebook and Twitter and keep the conversation going with the tag #freemygrapes.

It is essential that we don’t give up. Together we will win this one.

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