B.C. wine industry rallying for a fight

B.C. wineries are pressing hard to see legal barriers against interprovincial shipping of wine and liquor across Canada changed.

Earlier this month, five small B.C. wineries were granted permission to bring their concerns to the Supreme Court of Canada in the R. v. Comeau case, the first court case where any winery in Canada has had an opportunity to address the legal barriers to interprovincial shipping of wine made from Canadian grown grapes.

Related: Canada’s Supreme Court to hear from small B.C. wineries

The Supreme Court will hear the case in early December, and organizers are asking the wine industry to rally behind the intervenors and support the drive to loosen shipping regulations.

Curtis Krouzel (50 Parallel Estate), Ian MacDonald (Liquidity Wines), Jim D’Andrea (Noble Ridge Vineyard and Winery), Christine Coletta (Okanagan Crush Pad Winery) and John Skinner (Painted Rock Estate Winery) each own and operate vineyards and wineries that produce wine exclusively using 100 per cent B.C. -grown grapes. They also head a coalition of more than 100 small B.C. wineries from British Columbia challenging interprovincial shipping laws.

“I think we need to send a message to local, provincial and federal governments that consumers and the public care about the wine industry; that it is important to them and they understand the value of us, what we do and what we bring to the economy,” said Coletta. “I think that is a pretty important message to get out there.”

A Go Fund Me page has been set up at https://www.gofundme.com/canadian-wine-for-all for those inside the industry and out to support the campaign. They’re also asking for people to show their support with the hashtag #CanadianWineForAll

“People contributing $20, $25 to a campaign indicates that they care,” said Coletta. “We need the public to let us know that they really care about what we’re doing.”

Besides getting the support for the idea of free trade across Canada for Canadian products, Coletta said they also want to raise the profile of Canadian wine.

“By that I mean wine that has the VQA label on it and is made from 100 per cent Canadian-grown grapes,” said Coletta.

Leanne Froese, co-owner of Town Hall Brands, said that the marketing agency would not have been started without the work provided by Canadian wineries.

“It employs 38,000 people, contributes billions to the Canadian economy and is a cornerstone of tourism. Wineries add richness to the culinary scene and buy local movement, and are a shining example of value-added farming and what can be achieved when we work together,” she wrote in a blog post.

These barriers pose a threat to wineries, who need national distribution direct to consumers to build a sufficient business for long-term survival. As such, the Supreme Court of Canada decision in R. v. Comeau will determine the fate of the B.C. wine industry for decades to come.

Shea Coulson, counsel for the five winery owners, said the aim is to inform the court about the negative impact on small wineries created by the interprovincial barriers.

The case started when Gerard Comeau, a New Brunswick resident, purchased 14 cases of beer and three bottles of liquor in Quebec and then drove home. He was given a $292.50 fine for violating New Brunswick’s Liquor Control Act: “No person … shall have or keep liquor not purchased from the [New Brunswick Liquor] Corporation.”

Comeau is challenging the constitutionality of that provision, arguing that it violates the spirit of free trade between the provinces.

Just Posted

Mercury rises in the Okanagan-Shuswap

Temperatures reach about 36 C with humidex in the Okanagan and Shuswap

Revelstoke Columbia River Treaty meeting brings local concerns to the forefront

The government of British Columbia hosted a community meeting surrounding the Columbia… Continue reading

Marijuana to be legal in Canada Oct. 17: Trudeau

Prime Minister made the announcement during question period in the House of Commons

Human caused fire knocked down in Mt. Revelstoke National Park

A fire broke out on the lower slopes of Mount Revelstoke yesterday… Continue reading

Life-long Revelstokian celebrates 106th birthday

Kay Martin celebrated her 106th birthday on June 20. Martin is a… Continue reading

VIDEO: Vernon-area students read for rank

RCMP visited JW Inglis on Wednesday as part of the Read with Me and the RCMP program.

New Jersey forward Taylor Hall wins Hart Trophy as NHL MVP

Vancouver’s Sedin brothers share King Clancy Award for humanitarian efforts

Unfiltered: IPAs explained with Cannery Brewing brewmaster

Checking out the new IPA created by Penticton brewery Cannery Brewing Company

Man gets 2 years in prison for assault on Okanagan Correctional officer

Union rep said inmate sucker punched correctional officer, continued assault after officer fell

50 new fires sparked in B.C. after lightning strikes across province

Similar conditions seen at the beginning of 2017 wildfire season

B.C. woman graduates high school at age 92

Nanaimo’s Joan Deebank the oldest high school graduate ever in B.C., as far as ministry can confirm

B.C. Appeal Court rules lottery winner must be paid back $600,000 loan

Enone Rosas won $4.1 million in a lottery in 2007 and loaned a portion to a friend

B.C. man surprised after used needle falls from sky

A Vernon resident said a syringe fell out of the sky and landed at his feet

Liquor review finds issues with B.C. wholesale monopoly

Report calls for ‘conflict of interest’ in system to be fixed

Most Read