Europeans can transport wine, or have it shipped not only between within their own country but between other countries as well while transport of wine in Canada from one province to another has been illegal since prohibition, and provincial liquor boards are fighting tooth and nail to keep it that way.
The Canadian wine Twittersphere has been abuzz with exhilaration, expectation and renewed agony about Bill C-311 (the wine shipping bill that will create a limited national personal use exemption for shipping wine from province to province), which is going through the bureaucratic machine, and the reactions of the provinces such as BC and Ontario.
In case you missed it, this is news or just plain intriguing to you, here’s some of what’s going on….
On June 6th, Bill C-311, the 51-word amendment to the federal law, passed the third reading in the House. Senator then Runciman table the bill in Senate on June 7th. On June 16, the bill passed the Senate by unanimous vote. Smooth sailings? Well, just a first step. Shirley-Ann George points out in guest post at nataliemaclean.com that the provinces still have to open things up . But judging by what BC did within 24 hours of the passing of the bill, that might be easier said than done. Provincial liquor board statements “indicate that they will not respect the spirit of Bill C-311″ and “some liquor boards and provinces have indicated that they will try to limit or prevent Canadians from gaining access to the wines that are sold in other provinces”, reports winelaw.ca. See this Globe and Mail article for more info on the provinces’ stance.
You can stay abreast of all the news and commentary from such notables as wine writer Anthony Gismondi and winemakers including Township 7′s Bradley Cooper and Tinhorn Creek’s Sandra Oldfield on Twitter using the #freemygrapes tag. Also please do read Mark Hicken’s article on this at winelaw.ca. He’s a Canadian lawyer specialized in wine law, and really gets down to the nitty gritty details.
And if are a Canadian wino and want to help, why not write a letter to your MPP / MLA to help free your grapes. You can find a sample letter and how to contact your MPP at http://www.freemygrapes.ca/take-action.shtml