Wine industry calls on Premiers to follow Premier Pallister’s lead to cut restrictions on inter-provincial trade of alcohol

OTTAWA, July 17, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — In advance of the Council of Federation meeting set to begin tomorrow, the Canadian Vintners Association (CVA) and its members are calling on the premiers to lift inter-provincial trade restrictions on alcohol. The group is also reiterating its support for Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister’s call to his colleagues to end these restrictions.  

British Columbia, Manitoba and Nova Scotia are the only jurisdictions in Canada which allow inter-provincial wine delivery.

“This means that only 19% of Canadians can legally order and have award-winning Canadian wines delivered to their out-of-province home. These are wines that are not readily available in liquor retail stores in their home province. Not only does this restrict consumer choice, it restricts wineries from accessing loyal customers.” said Dan Paszkowski, President & CEO of the CVA.

“Removing restrictions would open the door to allowing consumers to order wine for direct delivery to their home from any Canadian winery located in any province. We call that Direct-to-Consumer, it is something 9 out of 10 Canadians believe should be permitted, and we now eagerly await the provinces making this choice available to their citizens, said Paszkowski.

Direct-to-Consumer would lead to important growth for the country’s highest value agricultural industry. Indeed, free interprovincial trade would positively impact the economy across the country. Industry research shows that for every $1.00 spent on Canadian wine in Canada, $3.42 in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is generated across the country.

The CVA has developed legislative principles for direct shipments of wine to adult consumers for personal choice.  The purpose is to provide shippers with a framework which, when adopted by provincial governments, will satisfy consumer demand, support the growth of the Canadian wine industry and ensure that direct shipment orders and deliveries are completed in a manner consistent with appropriate laws.

These principles have been shared with the federal and provincial/territorial Alcoholic Beverages Working Group (ABWG) established under the Canadian Free Trade Agreement (CFTA).  The ABWG was given the task of identifying specific opportunities and to make recommendations to further enhance trade in alcoholic beverages within Canada, while being mindful of social responsibility and international obligations.  Based on the recommendations of the ABWG, provincial governments will determine how trade in alcoholic beverages in Canada can be further enhanced.  It is important to note that the CVA proposal aligns with the object and spirit of the CFTA and the recent Supreme Court of Canada decision in R. v. Comeau 2018 SCC 15.

“Regardless of the outcome of the Council’s meeting, we will continue our work with the federal, provincial and territorial governments to allow interprovincial wine delivery from wineries to consumers,” continued Paszkowski. “It’s important to recognize that interprovincial trade barriers affect a range of industries, including wine.”

About the Canadian Vintners Association
Canadian Vintners Association (CVA), the national voice of wine in Canada, advocates for the national wine industry at the federal and international levels. CVA is dedicated to improving the business success and return on investment for individual wineries, while assuring the continued growth and prosperity of the entire Canadian wine industry.

About the Alcoholic Beverages Working Group
The Canadian Free Trade Agreement (CFTA), which came into effect on July 1, 2017, established an Alcoholic Beverages Working Group (ABWG) made up of federal, provincial, and territorial officials. As noted on the CFTA website, “the ABWG is tasked with identifying specific opportunities and recommendations to further enhance trade in alcoholic beverages within Canada, while being mindful of social responsibility and international obligations. The working group shall submit its recommendations to the Committee on Internal Trade by July 1, 2018.”


Asha Hingorani
Director of Government and Public Affairs
M. 613-462-7080

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