VineRoutes on Threads
News & Views Press Alley

BC wine industry seeks resolution amidst Alberta trade conflict

January 31, 2024

Wine Growers of British Columbia (WGBC) is expressing disappointment as Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission (AGLC) rekindles a trade dispute targeting BC wineries. On January 22, 2024, AGLC issued a letter to BC wineries, demanding an immediate halt to direct-to-consumer (DTC) wine shipments to Alberta. Failure to comply would result in the AGLC refusing inbound shipments through their warehouse.

While Bill C-311 federally allows the delivery of Canadian wine from one province to another, only British Columbia, Manitoba, and Nova Scotia permit their residents to do so. Alberta, however, amended regulations, making importation subject to Liquor Control Board policies, limiting personal consumption to personally transported liquor and eliminating shipping options.

Miles Prodan, President and CEO of Wine Growers British Columbia, emphasizes that AGLC’s jurisdiction is limited to activities within Alberta, not extending to BC manufacturers exporting wine. He underscores the importance of a free-trade relationship between Alberta and British Columbia for the nation’s economic well-being.

“A working free-trade relationship between Alberta and British Columbia is imperative to the economic wellbeing of the entire country.” – Miles Prodan, Wine Growers British Columbia

Concerns arise over political motivations behind the AGLC letter, affecting local growers and producers already grappling with financial challenges. The BC wine industry proposes charging and remitting provincial tax if Alberta adopts a system similar to Manitoba’s.

Despite facing adversity, the BC wine industry aims to maintain a positive relationship with Alberta. A recent poll reveals 85 percent of Albertans support interprovincial DTC wine shipping. DTC wines shipped are high-end, ranging from $20 to $75+, constituting a small portion of Alberta’s wine consumption.

WGBC, in collaboration with its member wineries, engages with provincial representatives to understand the root cause of the dispute and seeks an amicable resolution. With Alberta being BC wine’s second most important market, efforts continue to expand sales opportunities and protect the interests of small, family-owned wineries.

More to come…

– With files provided by Wine Growers BC


Exclusive content via Email

You have Successfully Subscribed!