Greens support Private Member’s Bill to end Wine Prohibition

Saanich-Gulf Islands MP Elizabeth May stood up in Parliament on Thursday to support the Private Member’s Bill of Okanagan-Coquihalla MP Dan Albas seeking to amend the Prohibition-era Importation of Intoxicating Liquors Act.  Since 1928, this Act has made it a crime to transport wine across provincial boundaries, originally to stop bootlegging.  The Albas amendments would finally create a personal exemption allowing consumers to legally import limited quantities of wine from one province to another.  The bill must pass second reading before it can be referred to committee for further review. “I am very pleased to support Mr. Albas in his effort to help local wineries and allow them to expand,” said May. “The Canadian wine industry will benefit greatly from opening up the domestic marketplace, including the many fine wineries in my riding.”

Ms. May made the following comments in the House of Commons on Thursday:

Ms. Elizabeth May (Saanich—Gulf Islands, GP): “Madam Speaker, I rise with pleasure to assure the hon. member for Okanagan—Coquihalla of the complete support of the Green Party caucus for this long-overdue reform. We also, in Saanich—Gulf Islands, have numerous wineries. I could name them but it would seem to be pandering to my constituents who run the Muse Winery, the Garry Oaks Winery, the Church and State Winery, Salt Spring Winery. I could go on.

I commend the member for bringing this forward. I will do everything in my power to help it pass and I hope all members in this House will ensure this legislation passes.”