Have wine, will travel  


Re: Okanagan MP wants to see wine flow more freely between provinces, April 4

Supporting the burgeoning wine industry is an issue that transcends partisan lines in the House of Commons. The work of Dan Albas, Conservative MP for Okanagan-Coquihalla, is an important step forward in increasing exposure and sales for boutique vintners from B.C. and other parts of the country.

However, changing federal legislation is one step of two. Amending the national statute creates room for provincial governments to set exemptions. Such exemptions would allow consumers to return back to their home province with wine for personal enjoyment after a trip to a vineyard in the Okanagan, Vancouver Island, the Niagara region or P.E.I., or to order online.

On this front, regional vintners need provincial legislatures to relax rules around purchasing directly from vintners. Experience in other jurisdictions shows that broadening the market for small wineries transfers revenue from provincial liquor boards in the range of one per cent, which can be recovered with growth in tourism and agriculture.

Adrian Dix Leader of the B.C. New Democrat official Opposition

Lana Popham Provincial NDP agriculture critic