Saskatchewan, B.C. removing wine, craft spirits trade barriers

Wine and craft spirits lovers rejoice – Saskatchewan, B.C. removing barriers on transporting Canadian products between the provinces. File / Global News

CHARLOTTETOWN – The premiers of Saskatchewan and British Columbia have agreed to lift barriers to allow the free trade of wine and crafts spirits between the two provinces.

B.C. Premier Christy Clark and Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall made the announcement at the premier’s conference taking place in Charlottetown.

Both say the agreement will allow for greater choice and access to locally produced products.

“British Columbia is leading the way in modernizing liquor laws to allow direct shipping of wine and craft spirits and we are thrilled that Saskatchewan has made this commitment with us today,” said Clark.

“When we ask other provinces for freer trade in Canada, we better be prepared to do it ourselves,” stated Wall.

“We are committed to removing inter-provincial trade barriers that hinder consumers, producers and a growing economy.”

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Under the deal, consumers will be able to access a broader of wines and craft spirits and be able to order directly from producers and have it delivered to their doorstep.

It’s a move supported by the industry.

“B.C.’s wine industry has earned a strong reputation internationally for quality and value, and thanks to this agreement, more people right here in Canada will be able to enjoy the high-quality BC VQA wines grown and produced in B.C.,” said Miles Prodan, president and CEO of the BC Wine Institute.

“We have a loyal following in Saskatchewan and cannot wait to share our award winning spirits with consumers in British Columbia,” added Colin Schmidt from Last Mountain Lake Distillery in Lumsden, Sask.

“We hope to continue to see this kind of progress for the craft alcohol industry as it continues to grow.”

Terms of the agreement still need to be drafted and will be implemented on June 17, 2015.