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Lightning Rock Winery

Lightning Rock Winery
January 30, 2021 | Lightning Rock Winery

Why Ontarians can’t order booze directly...

Why Ontarians can’t order booze directly from other provinces
— and how some would like to end Canada’s liquor lockdown


Ron Kubek already has a celebratory bottle picked out for the day he finds out he can sell his wine anywhere in the country.

He’ll open a sparkling wine — the Blanc de Noirs from his Elysia Vineyard in British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley. It’s one of his more popular bottles; Lightning Rock, the winery he owns, is doubling its production of the wine after selling out of it in July.

“That’s the one that we would like Canadians across the country to be able to use when they celebrate the end of the COVID or when they celebrate New Year’s,” he said. “We want them to be able to enjoy our sparkling.”

Kubek’s going to have to hold off on popping that cork for a while. In fact, at this point he says, it’s easier to ship that bottle of bubbly to London, England, than it is to send it to London, Ont.

That’s because, right now, there are only four provinces in the country that will allow Kubek to ship his bottles directly to consumers across provincial borders. Ontario and Quebec, two of the biggest markets in the country, are not among them.

But that could change if Kubek’s MP in the Okanagan has his way — potentially making brewers, winery owners and distillers from coast to coast a lot happier.

In December, Conservative MP Dan Albas, who represents the Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola riding in B.C., tabled a bill he’s dubbed the “Buy, Sip and Ship” bill, more formally known as Bill C-260.

The bill seeks to overturn restrictions to shipping wine, beer and spirits from one part of the country to another. The goal, says Albas, is to allow reciprocal trade of alcohol throughout Canada, hopefully opening up new markets for smaller producers and providing them with a little relief from a coronavirus-inflicted economic slump.

Article taken from the Toronto Star, written by Steve McKinley. Click here to read the full article online.


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