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Penticton  

Wineries to get day in court

Five small B.C. wineries will be getting their day in the Supreme Court of Canada, as they argue in favour of interprovincial shipping of liquor.

The nation’s top court will hear R v. Comeau in early December, the first case in which a winery has had the chance to address the legal barriers around shipping wine within Canada made with Canadian grown grapes.

Curtis Krouzel (50th Parallel Estate), Ian MacDonald (Liquidity), Jim D'Andrea (Noble Ridge), Christine Coletta (Okanagan Crush Pad), and John Skinner (Painted Rock) are heading a coalition of more than 100 small B.C. wineries, who say they need national distribution to build long-term businesses.

“As such, the Supreme Court of Canada decision in R. v. Comeau will determine the fate of the BC wine industry for decades to come,” said the wineries' lawyer Shea Coulson in a news release.

The five winemakers are one of a couple dozen “interveners” at the hearing on Dec. 6 and 7. After the hearing, the court could take up to a year to make its decision.

"The Court has to balance many complex interests, but my clients will argue that it is possible to incrementally change the law to permit interprovincial shipments of Canadian wine, and why it is of fundamental importance to the future survival of the industry to remove these barriers,” Coulson added.



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