Wine lovers rally against cross-border sales ban


    Wine aficionados and wine makers came together in Ottawa on Tuesday in hopes of abolishing a decades-old rule that prevents the beverage from flowing freely across provincial lines.


    Supporters of Bill C-311, which would allow wine to be shipped from province to province, argued their case to a finance committee on Parliament Hill.


    If passed, the private member's bill would tweak the Importation of Intoxicating Liquors Act to get rid of an 84-year-old rule that hinders domestic wine shipping.


    A 1928 provision of the act prevents a winery in British Columbia's Okanagan Valley, for instance, from shipping a case of wine to a customer in Ontario.


    Some jurisdictions place volume limits on the amount of wine being shipped and require it to be "on their person," while others outlaw the practice altogether.


    Representatives of the Canadian wine industry say the restrictions are outdated and "out of step" with consumer preferences and tourism initiatives.


    "Most Canadians don't even know it is illegal. They think it's silly, archaic and it's time that the government started to think in the 21st century," said Shirley-Ann George, who started up the Alliance of Canadian Wine Consumers.


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