A win for wine! Bill C-311 receives Royal Assent

07-10-2012 - A win for wine! Bill C-311 receives Royal Assent

Ottawa, ON, June 28, 2012... The Honourable Gail Shea, Minister of National Revenue, announced that Dan Albas, Member of Parliament for Okanagan-Coquihalla's Private Member's Bill C-311 is expected to receive Royal Assent today. Effective immediately, the amendment to the Importation of Intoxicating Liquors Act (IILA), removes the federal restrictions prohibiting individuals from moving wine from one province to another when purchased for personal use.

"This is a positive step towards reducing inter-provincial trade barriers, and promoting jobs and growth in the wine industry," said Minister Shea. "Eliminating the federal restrictions that limit Canadians from transporting wine across provincial borders will encourage Canadians to visit our wine regions and support the development of our world class wine industry."

The IILA is a federal law governing the interprovincial transportation, international importation and release of beverage alcohol (liquor). It was enacted in 1928 at the request of the provinces after the revocation of their liquor prohibition laws. Bill C-311 amends the IILA to remove the federal barrier prohibiting individuals from moving wine from one province to another for personal use and provides each province with the authority to set limits on personal importations of wine.

The amendment to the IILA covers all wine, including wine made from grapes, apples, berries, honey and even dandelions.

The amendment does not affect existing provincial laws related to the importation of wine, nor does it change existing laws for importing alcohol into the Territories which are governed by separate federal statutes.

"Given that most of the Canadian wine market is catered to by foreign imported wines, there is a huge potential for growth in our Canadian wine-producing regions," said Okanagan-Coquihalla MP Dan Albas. "This will create jobs and support our local economies. These changes are long overdue – Wine tourism is also on the rise and removing this federal barrier will be a significant benefit to many small family-run wineries.

"Canadians should raise a glass of wine today to applaud Dan Albas and all Members of Parliament and Senators who unanimously approved Bill C-311 to make way for direct wine shipping across Canada," said Dan Paszkowski, President of the Canadian Vintners Association. "This amendment is a major win for Canadian consumers and empowers provinces to allow their residents to order wine online from any Canadian winery."

For more information on the IILA and Bill C-311, visit www.cra.gc.ca or call 1-800-959-5525.