Bill C-311 Passes


OTTAWA — A new sense of freedom is being felt among wine lovers across the country, thanks to Bill C-311, recently passed in the House of Commons.

Support for the bill was won during a national coalition, called Free My Grapes, comprised of wine lovers.

The Alliance of Canadian Wine Consumers, a grassroots, volunteer alliance of wine afficionados, have been working to abolish the restrictions prohibiting consumers from purchasing wines directly from their favourite Canadian wineries in other provinces.

Dan Paszkowski, president and CEO, Canadian Vintners Association, hopes the bill will pass through senate quickly. “We’re optimistic the Senate will put an end to [the] prohibition-era law and endorse Bill C-311 before the busy summer tourist season.”

The bill, introduced last October by MP Dan Albas (B.C.), aims to broaden consumer choice, allowing Canadians to legally transport or ship wine across provincial borders for the first time since 1928 when the Importation and Intoxicating Liquors Act was first enacted.

Canadian consumers and winemakers are encouraged by the news of Bill C-311. “Canadians remain hopeful provincial governments will accommodate the spirit of the federal amendment and quickly endorse a simple, effective and efficient winery direct-to-consumer sales system,” said Paszkowski.

Passage of Bill C-311 has the potential to inject new revenues for the provinces, support wine country tourism and satisfy consumer demand for direct shipments from licensed wineries across Canada.

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