British Columbia Premier Christy Clark and Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall agreed to offer consumers in both provinces greater choice and convenient access to locally produced wine and craft spirits. The agreement will lift barriers to consumers and enables free trade, benefitting consumers and strengthening the Canadian wine and craft distillers industries.
Once implemented, consumers in both provinces will be able to order B.C. or Saskatchewan wines and craft spirits directly from producers, and have them delivered to their doorstep.
“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 Premier Clark. “We look forward to building on this momentum and working with other provinces.”
“When we ask other provinces for freer trade in Canada, we better be prepared to do it ourselves,” Premier Brad Wall said. “We are committed to removing inter-provincial trade barriers that hinder consumers, producers and a growing economy.”
Previously, consumers were restricted to wines or spirits that were available for sale through Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority stores in Saskatchewan, and B.C. Liquor Distribution Branch and private liquor stores in British Columbia. The agreement will enable consumers to access a much broader selection of wines and craft spirits than previously available, and opens up new markets for wineries and distilleries looking to grow their business.
Saskatchewan joins B.C. and Manitoba in offering direct access to Canadian wines, and is an example of the growing consensus towards liberalizing internal trade.
Since March 2013, B.C. has worked extensively with other provincial and territorial officials on looking at ways to open up domestic markets for B.C. wines. The terms of the agreement will be drafted in the coming weeks for implementation June 17, 2015.