A COVID Christmas

As Canadians prepare for a 2020 holiday season unlike any other, we are all feeling the collective impacts of travel restrictions.

For some, this may be the first Christmas spent somewhere that is not your usual destination with your friends and family.

With so many different travel restrictions, many have turned to Canada Post or other couriers, not just to acquire goods, but also to send gifts to loved ones who are unable to come home.

For those of you in B.C. who may have attempted to ship a bottle of our amazing Okanagan wine or your favourite local craft beer or an artisan distilled spirit to friends or family in another province through Canada Post, you likely discovered your shipment was refused.

With so many restaurants running at reduced capacities and travel restrictions resulting in less local winery visits and sales, one of our key local industries, like many others, has been significantly impacted by this pandemic.

Unlike some other industries who can take advantage of online sales to the rest of Canada, our local producers of wine, craft beers and spirits are shut out of major provinces, such as Quebec and Ontario solely because of provincial liquor monopolies and their restrictive policies. 

For this reason, before Parliament adjourned, I introduced my latest private members, Bill C-260.

This bill, often referred to as the "Buy, Ship & Sip bill" would amend the Canada Post Act so that Canada Post can bypass these repressive provincial monopolies.

Strong support from consumers as well as industry has been received thus far, but it is unclear if the government and other opposition parties will support the bill. 

I will provide a further update on this once Parliament resumes.

Before I close this week's report, I would like to sincerely wish everyone a Merry Christmas and joyous holiday season.

I would particularly like to thank all front-line workers and also those in working in healthcare and seniors’ homes.

For all our essential service workers, this holiday season will mean considerable time away from their families serving the public.

My question this week:

  • How will you spend this holiday season differently from years past?

I can be reached at [email protected] or call toll free 1-800-665-8711.

This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.


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About the Author

Dan Albas, Conservative member of Parliament for the riding of Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola, is the official Oppositions's finance critic.

Before entering public life, Dan was the owner of Kick City Martial Arts, responsible for training hundreds of men, women and youth to bring out their best.

Dan  is consistently recognized as one of Canada’s top 10 most active Members of Parliament on Twitter (@danalbas) and also continues to write a weekly column published in many local newspapers and on this website.

Dan welcomes comments, questions and concerns from citizens and is often available to speak to groups and organizations on matters of federal concern. 

He can be reached at [email protected] or call toll free at 1-800-665-8711.

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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