OTTAWA, ON – May 4, 2017 – The Canadian Vintners Association welcomes the announcement today that the Supreme Court of Canada has agreed to hear a Crown appeal of a New Brunswick ruling related to the movement of alcohol across provincial boundaries. Barriers to interprovincial trade is one of the top challenges Canadian vintners face and the association’s member wineries are delighted that this case will be heard by the Supreme Court.

The Canadian Vintners Association has been raising the issue at federal and provincial levels for over a decade, culminating in the passing of Bill C-311 in 2012, which allowed Canadians to order wine from other provinces and have it delivered directly to them. Four and a half years later, however, only 3 of our 10 provinces have enacted legislation at the provincial level to allow for this to take effect.

Dan Paszkowski, President and CEO of the Canadian Vintners Association said, “Direct delivery as a sales channel is critical to our smaller wineries while they scale up their operations and production volume, allowing them to sell into bricks and mortar provincial stores. However, the size of their domestic market is needlessly reduced through the limits on shipping wine across provincial borders.”

The Canadian wine industry is valued at $9 billion, an increase of 32% from $6.8 billion over the past 4 years. Statistics released by Statistics Canada this week confirm a growing appetite for wine by Canadian consumers, with wine sales up 4.1% between FY15/16 and FY16/17. Without fair market access, the ability of the industry to take advantage of this increase in demand is curtailed.

Supporting 37,000 jobs across the country, in farm grape production, warehousing, winemaking and hospitality, this value-added agri-food sector hopes a forthcoming Supreme Court decision on the Comeau case will pave the way for access to Canadian wine, irrespective of one’s province of residence.

About the Canadian Vintners Association

The Canadian Vintners Association (CVA) is the national voice of the Canadian wine industry, representing more than 90% of annual wine production. CVA members are engaged in the entire wine value chain from grape growing, farm management, grape harvesting, research, wine production, bottling, retail sales and tourism.