Supreme Court ruling corks B.C. vintners’ hopes for free trade of Canadian wines

Supreme Court ruling corks B.C. vintners’ hopes for free trade of Canadian wines
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VANCOUVER — Officials representing wineries in British Columbia say they are disappointed by the Supreme Court of Canada ruling that upholds current interprovincial trade laws.

Miles Prodan, the president and chief executive officer with the British Columbia Wine Institute, says the ruling is not the decision it was hoping for.

He says the institute was optimistic the high court would instead clear the way for B.C. wineries to begin shipping their products directly to consumers in other provinces.

Now, Prodan says the institute will focus on continuing its talks with federal and provincial governments in an effort to develop free trade across Canada.

Five B.C. wineries argued as interveners in the Supreme Court of Canada case that stemmed from a 2012 incident when police fined a man who entered New Brunswick from Quebec with 14 cases of beer and three bottles of liquor.

The wine institute says vineyards and wineries make up B.C.’s highest value agricultural industry and provincial barriers threaten the existence of vintners who must tap into a national distribution network to grow their businesses.

The Canadian Press

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