Wine ruling reaction

The British Columbia Wine Institute and its members expressed disappointment with the Supreme Court of Canada's ruling on Her Majesty the Queen v. Gerard Comeau. The case challenged restrictions on interprovincial trade, Miles Prodan, President of the British Columbia Wine Institute says its back to the drawing board.

"We'd hoped that the court would have ruled in favour so we're disappointed but what it tells us is that we are going to have to continue our work with individual provinces and we'll continue doing that."

The ruling leaves B.C. on the outside as Canadians increasingly call for direct-to-consumer wine sales across the country.

"The solution is not going to be court imposed it's going to be our industry working with the other provinces. Consumers clearly have said that they want the right to buy Canadian wine so we have the public on our side, unfortunately, the Supreme Court has decided otherwise."

Removing restrictions would have opened the door to allowing consumers to order wine for direct delivery to their home from any Canadian winery located in any province. We call that Direct-to-Consumer, it is something nine out of 10 Canadians believe should be permitted.

The Comeau case dates back to October 2012, when Gerard Comeau of New Brunswick purchased beer and spirits in Quebec and drove back to New Brunswick. He was charged with possessing liquor purchased from outside the province in quantities that exceeded the province's prescribed limit, an offence under section 134 of the New Brunswick Liquor Control Act. The trial judge held that section 134(b) of the Liquor Control Act constitutes a trade barrier (violating section 121 of the Constitution Act, 1867) and dismissed the charge against Mr. Comeau. The case subsequently made its way to the Supreme Court.

"It's democracy and the rule of law. Hopefully, we'll be able to deliver B.C. wine to the rest of the country someday soon."

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