VICTORIA – Westside-Kelowna MLA Ben Stewart called on Adrian Dix and the BC NDP to stand up for British Columbia and demand their federal counterparts end their delay of MP Dan Albas’ Private Member’s Bill C-311 and make free trade in wine legal across Canada.
Yesterday in the House of Commons, NDP MPs Alex Atamenenko, Jenny Sims, Fin Donnelly and Kennedy Stewart, all from B.C., contributed to running out the clock, thus delaying passage.
“It’s just baffling B.C. MPs would delay a bill that would benefit winemakers and create jobs in this province,” said Stewart. “It’s high time Adrian Dix and the BC NDP stand up for the province and demand their federal colleagues pass this bill.”
British Columbia is home to over 200 grape wineries and more than 700 vineyards. Bill C-311 removes federal barriers to the transportation of wine from one province to another, allows Canadians to buy wine from wineries in other provinces, and have it shipped to their homes.
“Eliminating interprovincial trade barriers for wine helps small producers by allowing them to sell directly to consumers across Canada,” said Stewart. “B.C. wine producers deserve every opportunity to sell their products across the country so they can grow and create jobs.”
Last Friday, Premier Christy Clark reaffirmed her support for the bill at a “Free My Grapes” rally in Penticton with MP Albas, BC Liberal MLAs, local mayors and winemakers.