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Amendments cause pain in the glass for bill

May 30, 2012  By The Canadian Press

May 30, 2012, Penticton, BC – Federal politicians have put a cork in a private members bill that would have wiped out Prohibition-era legislation restricting Canada’s inter-provincial wine trade.

Okanagan Coquihalla Conservative MP Dan Albas says Bill C-311 has not been defeated, but it has been delayed, after amendments were requested as it came up for third reading.

The B.C. MP says the bill, dubbed – Free My Grapes – has now dropped to the bottom of the hearing list and most likely won’t resurface until early to mid-fall.


Albas blames New Democrats for what he calls a senseless and unfair assault on the Okanagan wine industry, arguing it will delay removal of trade barriers until at least next year’s growing cycle.

National Revenue Minister Gail Shea announced her support for Bill C-311 recently, saying it will reduce unnecessary inter-provincial trade barriers, while promoting jobs and growth in Canada’s wine industry.

Currently, federal legislation restricts a tourist from buying wine at vineyards, including those in the Okanagan, Ontario’s Niagara-on-the-Lake or Nova Scotia’s Annapolis Valley, and taking the bottle back with them to their home province.

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