Canada acts to eliminate barriers to interprovincial trade in alcohol
The Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Intergovernmental and Northern Affairs and Internal Trade recently highlighted plans to eliminate the only remaining federal barrier to trade in alcoholic beverages within Canada, taking the first step to give Canadians better access to Canadian products without restrictions.
The Government of Canada is taking a leading role in promoting trade within Canada, including in wine, beer and spirits, to grow the economy and create good middle-class jobs. As promised in Budget 2019, the Government of Canada has introduced legislation which will remove the federal requirement that alcohol moving from one province to another go through a provincial liquor authority. Once that measure passes, provinces and territories will need to make their own changes in order for direct-to-consumer shipping to be allowed across Canada.
The Minister called on provinces and territories to take up the challenge to give Canadians freedom of choice and allow wine, beer and spirits to be sold directly to consumers across provincial and territorial borders. The Government of Canada has lifted all federal impediments to alcohol moving across borders within Canada. The only remaining barriers fall under provincial and territorial jurisdiction and can only be removed by the provinces and territories.
Budget 2019 maintains the Government of Canada’s strong commitment to working with provinces and territories to better harmonize regulations across domestic boundaries, opening up the door to more seamless trade between provinces and territories. When barriers to trade within Canada are eliminated, Canadian companies are better able to trade within Canada and beyond, while also giving Canadian consumers greater choice.
- Canadian wineries, breweries, distilleries and other alcohol producers directly employ about 20,000 people.
- Alcohol manufacturing sales exceeded $8 billion last year, including exports of almost $1 billion.
- The proposed amendments are to the federal Importation of Intoxicating Liquors Act.