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Alberta tells B.C. wineries to stop shipping directly to customers

Alberta and British Columbia are butting heads due to a conflict surrounding B.C. wineries shipping their product directly to consumers.

Alberta Gaming, Liquor, and Cannabis (AGLC) sent out a letter to B.C. wineries, saying that AGLC will stop selling B.C. wine in Alberta stores if they don’t stop shipping to customers.

A decision made by the Supreme Court in 2018 allows provinces to restrict alcohol purchases that aren’t through provincial licensing agencies.

Al Hudec, a lawyer representing B.C. winemakers, said that Alberta is trying to threaten B.C. wineries by imposing regulations on another province.

“The B.C. wineries are not breaking any laws in Alberta. This is just muscling the wineries,” said Hudec.

According to data from one B.C.’s Painted Rock winery, only 10 per cent of their sales are directly to Alberta customers.

Because of this, B.C. wineries have sent a letter back to AGLC.

“The AGLC has no authority, within the legislation that it administers, to impose this interprovincial trade restriction,” The letter reads.

The only provinces in Canada allowed to order out-of-province wine directly from producers is B.C., Manitoba, Nova Scotia, and Saskatchewan.

Photo: Credit to Wine Growers BC

B.C. Wines.