Interprovincial Trade Barriers to be Removed

In its Budget 2019, the Government of Canada introduced legislation that will remove the federal requirement that alcohol moving from one province to another must go through a provincial liquor authority. Once the legislation passes, provinces will need to make their own changes to allow for direct-to-consumer shipping across Canada. These changes could have significant impacts on liquor retailers if wineries start shipping direct to consumers in Alberta, bypassing liquor stores.

The Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Intergovernmental and Northern Affairs and Internal Trade stated, “For too long, Canadians have been frustrated by the restrictions on the sale of Canadian beer, wine and spirits between provinces and territories. The proposed legislative amendments would remove the only remaining federal barrier to trade in alcohol and the onus will be on provincial and territorial governments to change their own regulations, paving the way for direct-to-consumer alcohol sales from across Canada. Removing barriers to trade between provinces and territories fosters economic growth, reduces the regulatory burden on our small and medium-sized businesses, and creates good, middle-class jobs across the country.”