On Tuesday April 11, I tabled my Private Member’s Bill C-351, which is a first step forward in removing interprovincial trade barriers.
Many people don’t realize this, but as it currently stands, it is actually easier for a local craft brewer to sell their beer in the US than it is to sell to other Canadians across the country.
I have spoken to craft distillers at Eau Claire Distillery in Turner Valley Alberta, craft brewers at Garrison in Halifax and craft beer enthusiasts at the Winter Beer festival in Toronto.
It is clear consumers and producers alike are extremely frustrated these archaic trade barriers stifle access to great Canadian beer and the ability for our craft brewers to grow their business.
Freer trade amongst the provinces and territories will grow the Canadian economy, and will create jobs. Especially in rural communities across Canada where our craft distillers, wine makers and breweries have been creating new and exciting economic opportunities.
Section 121 of the Constitution Act is quite clear, it states, “All articles of Growth, Produce, or Manufacture of any one of the Provinces shall, from and after the Union, be admitted free into each of the other Provinces.”
The Conservatives support Canadian industry and Canadian jobs. We also think Canadians should have access to any Canadian made product regardless what province it was produced in.
Consumers deserve more choice in the marketplace, especially access to great Canadian-made products like wine, spirits, and beer. We are Canadians, we love our beer, and we should be able to enjoy a great Canadian craft beer anywhere in this country.
That’s why I’ve tabled my Private Member’s Bill, Bill C-351. If passed, this Bill will amend the Importation of Intoxicating Liquors Act limiting its reach to only liquors being imported into Canada, and not those sold between provinces.
This legislation will:
Allow producers to sell their product directly to consumers anywhere in Canada without permission of a provincial liquor board.
And it will also allow a person to transport alcohol from one province to another for personal use.
Free trade is a constitutional right, and our Conservative caucus won’t rest until we have a true, free trade deal that will benefit all Canadians.