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Borders opened to wine and spirits

An agreement between the provincial governments of BC and Saskatchewan will see trade barriers lifted on locally produced wine and craft spirits.

That means consumers will soon be able to order wines or spirits directly from the producers in those provinces and have them delivered to their doorstep.

"British Columbia is leading the way in modernizing liquor laws to offer people more convenience and to strengthen our industry to create jobs," says BC Premier Christy Clark.

"This commitment with Saskatchewan is a great next step that builds momentum for free trade with other provinces."

The agreement was announced Friday morning in Prince Edward Island, during the annual Premier’s Conference, with Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall stating they are committed to “removing inter-provincial trade barriers that hinder consumers, producers and a growing economy.”

Consumers had been restricted to buying what was available in local provincial liquor stores, but the new agreement will allow access to a much broader selection and offer up new markets for wineries and distilleries to grow their business.

“We're pleased to see that B.C. and Saskatchewan have committed to removing barriers to access for consumers to Canadian products," says Tyler Dyck of the BC Craft Distillers Guild. "Access to new markets is important as we look to build on the strength of our growing industry."

The Premiers at the conference have also agreed to continue discussing options to liberalize trade in craft beers too.

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