An Act to amend the Importation of Intoxicating Liquors Act (interprovincial importation of wine for personal use)
Dan Albas Conservative
Introduced as a private member’s bill.
This bill has received Royal Assent and is now law.
- June 6, 2012 Passed That the Bill be now read a third time and do pass.
The House resumed from May 31 consideration of the motion that Bill C-311, An Act to amend the Importation of Intoxicating Liquors Act (interprovincial importation of wine for personal use), be read the third time and passed.
June 5th, 2012 / 10:05 a.m.
Ron Cannan Kelowna—Lake Country, BC
Madam Speaker, it is a privilege and honour to rise this morning to table a petition on behalf of numerous constituents of Kelowna—Lake Country. These wise folks realize it is time to free our grapes and to allow the archaic 1928 Importation of Intoxicating Liquors Act to be amended. They are in support of Bill C-311 by my hard-working colleague from Okanagan—Coquihalla.
Tomorrow we hope to bring this archaic legislation to the 21st century.
June 1st, 2012 / 11:55 a.m.
Dan Albas Okanagan—Coquihalla, BC
Mr. Speaker, Canadian wine producers are eagerly awaiting the passage of Bill C-311, my legislation that would allow Canadians to bring a bottle of wine across provincial borders. It is absolutely vital that we get this popular bill passed before the summer so Canadian wine producers can market and grow their businesses.
Unfortunately, the NDP members have decided to put their own partisan political interests ahead of those Canadian businesses by unnecessarily delaying this legislation.
Could the Minister of Justice please inform the House of the government's position on my legislation?
Importation of Intoxicating Liquors Act
May 31st, 2012 / 3:10 p.m.
Nathan Cullen Skeena—Bulkley Valley, BC
Mr. Speaker, if you seek it, I believe you would find unanimous consent for the following very worthwhile and sobering motion. I move:
That, notwithstanding any Standing Orders or usual practice of this House, the motion for the third reading of Bill C-311, An Act to amend the Importation of Intoxicating Liquors Act (interprovincial importation of wine for personal use), standing on the order of precedence on the order paper, be deemed put and a recorded division deemed requested and deferred until Wednesday, June 6 at the end of government orders.
(Bill C-311. On the Order: Private Members' Business)
May 29, 2012—Third reading of Bill C-311, An Act to amend the Importation of Intoxicating Liquors Act (interprovincial importation of wine for personal use)—the Member for Okanagan—Coquihalla.
Business of the House
May 31st, 2012 / 3:05 p.m.
Peter Van Loan Leader of the Government in the House of Commons
Mr. Speaker, this afternoon, we will continue with the NDP's opposition day motion.
Tomorrow, we will finish report stage on Bill C-31, the Protecting Canada's Immigration System Act. Including second reading, this will be the eighth day of debate on the bill, in addition to many committee meetings. As the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism told the House on Tuesday, this bill must become law by June 29.
On Monday, we will resume the third reading debate on Bill C-25,, the pooled registered pension plans act. Following question period that day, we will mark Her Majesty the Queen's jubilee and pay tribute to her 60 years on the throne. After that special occasion, we will get back to the usual business of the day, debating legislation. Bill C-23, the Canada–Jordan economic growth and prosperity act, will be taken up at report stage and third reading.
Jumping ahead to next Thursday, we will resume debating Bill C-24, the Canada–Panama economic growth and prosperity act, at second reading. I would also call Bill C-25 that day if the debate does not finish on Monday.
Finally, June 5 and 6 shall be the seventh and eighth allotted days, both of which will see the House debate motions from the NDP.
I can confirm notice of a motion for unanimous consent regarding the private member's bill, Bill C-311. This is the bill to amend the Importation of Intoxicating Liquors Act that the NDP filibustered the other day. I understand the NDP has now agreed that was a mistake and it is willing to allow it to proceed to a vote at this time. Therefore, we anticipate we will be consenting to that motion to undo the damage that the NDP unwisely did when it filibustered the bill previously.
May 31st, 2012 / 10:10 a.m.
Dean Allison Niagara West—Glanbrook, ON
Madam Speaker, I rise today to bring attention to the House a petition that I received from my constituents in my riding of Niagara West—Glanbrook. The petitioners call upon the House of Commons and Parliament to vote in favour of Bill C-311, an act to amend the importation of intoxicating liquors act (interprovincial importation of wine for personal use).
With over 40 wineries in my riding of Niagara West—Glanbrook, this piece of legislation is near and dear to me and my constituents. I echo the sentiments of these petitioners and urge all of my hon. colleagues to vote in favour of the bill.
There is a pressing need to modernize the 1928 federal Importation of Intoxicating Liquors Act with a personal exemption for the purchase and shipment of wine across provincial borders. Allowing interprovincial importation of wine for personal use would greatly benefit not only the hard-working men and women of my riding but also Canadians from coast to coast who would soon be able to experience the extravagant array of wines grown not only in Niagara Peninsula but across our great nation.
May 30th, 2012 / 3 p.m.
Gail Shea Minister of National Revenue
Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the member for Okanagan—Coquihalla for his work on the bill, and also our colleague from Kelowna—Lake Country for his tireless effort on this issue.
Bill C-311 is a positive step toward reducing unnecessary interprovincial trade barriers and toward promoting jobs and growth in the wine industry.
We are truly disappointed in the NDP members for playing silly political games and needlessly delaying passage of a bill that they claim to support. They tell the wine industry one thing, and then their actions in the House display something else. They are clearly not equipped to govern.
May 30th, 2012 / 3 p.m.
Dan Albas Okanagan—Coquihalla, BC
Mr. Speaker, last evening in the House of Commons, NDP MPs, many of them from British Columbia, deliberately ran out the clock on debate rather than support the effort to send Bill C-311 to the other place.
In doing so, the NDP has forced a second hour of debate that could potentially not occur again until late October. Given that wine agri-tourism season runs from now until early October, these unreasonable delaying tactics will in turn delay our Canadian wine industry from implementing planned expansions that create jobs and support our local economy.
Does the government recognize the need for this important legislation?
Importation of Intoxicating Liquors Act
Private Members' Business
May 29th, 2012 / 6:10 p.m.
Claude Gravelle Nickel Belt, ON
Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure for me to rise here today in the House to speak to this bill. I congratulate the member for Okanagan—Coquihalla for introducing this bill.
Like many other Canadians, before this bill was introduced, I did not realize that it was illegal to transport wine from one province to another. I guess that made a lot of us unknowing criminals. Maybe those are the unknown crimes that the Minister of Public Safety was talking about when he introduced his legislation. I am not sure, but a lot of us have been guilty of transporting wine from province to province unknowingly.
I recently visited my son, who lives in Revelstoke, and of course at family gatherings we had a bit of wine from the Okanagan Valley. I can assure members that it is really good wine, although some very good wines are also being made in Ontario, Nova Scotia and in Quebec.
With all of the “grapes of wrath” happening here on the omnibus bill and the harm to our workers, it is a relief to take a moment to look at some of the other grapes, an important and growing market of our country, that we see in B.C., in Niagara and Prince Edward County in Ontario, in Quebec and more.
Recently I had the occasion to have dinner across the river in Gatineau, and as is usual I was brought a bottle of wine and asked to taste it. In this case, the waiter brought some imported wine from another country, and I told him I would like to drink a good Canadian wine if possible.
He only had one bottle of Canadian wine in stock, which is quite unfortunate, but the bottle of wine he had was from the Okanagan Valley. It was probably the best wine I have ever tasted. I said it was unfortunate that he only had one bottle in stock. It was fortunate for me, but it was unfortunate that the other people in the restaurant could not get to taste this wonderful wine. I hear my colleague from British Columbia supporting this great wine from British Columbia.
We in the NDP are going to support this legislation. We want to get it to the finance committee for proper study and amendments. On many levels I like this bill, which would relax restrictions on interprovincial wine purchasing for personal use.
I will read into the record the amendment that we want to add. This amendment has to do with making the wine with 100% Canadian grapes.
The amendment would add these words: “The importation of wine from a province where the wine is made with 100% Canadian grapes, by an individual if the individual brings the wine or causes it to brought into another province in quantities, and as permitted by law of the latter province, for his or her personal consumption and not for resale or other commercial use.”
This amendment would help to promote Canadian wines. It would help the producers of Canadian wines. It may cause us to have to relabel the bottles of wine, but that is a small price to pay to promote the Canadian wine industry.
We would get good consumer choice. This would give Canadians a bigger choice in buying wines. Canadians would strongly benefit from a greater selection of wine, especially wineries from across Canada. There are many small wineries across this great country, and this would promote Canadian producers. We grow a lot of grapes in Canada, and this would certainly encourage wineries to maybe expand and create more employment. Nothing but good would come out of this bill.
For wine producers, a beneficial effect of the bill would be an expanded market for Canadian wineries. As I said, transporting more wine from one province to the next is certainly good for the wine industry.
Although we know we have very good wine in British Columbia, we also have some very good wines in Ontario, especially icewines, and one of the things that the bill would do is allow people from British Columbia to discover the great wines of Ontario. From Nova Scotia to British Columbia, the Canadian wine industry is emerging as internationally recognized cool-climate wine producers, garnering an impressive list of awards and praise from many of the world's most influential wine critics.
Just recently on Parliament Hill, we had some companies come out for a wine tasting evening. We tasted some of probably the best wines made in the world, wines that have won many awards. Some of these wines are known right around the world as being great wines.
On average, capital expenditures for industry have increased from about 12% annually. The softening of the law would allow for greater choice, while still preserving the provincial monopoly power for each liquor board. Of course, allowing liquor boards to bring more wines from outside their province would certainly help all wine producers right across the board.
Under current legislation, if an individual wishes to purchase wine that is available only in a province other than one in which he or she resides, the individual must make the purchase through a provincial or territorial liquor board, commission or corporation and must pay the associated taxes, markup rates and other special levies on alcohol. Again, as I said a while ago, most Canadians do not know that doing otherwise is against the law, so I am sure that this would help.
As it stands right now, the industry and the public consider that the Importation of Intoxicating Liquors Act, also called the IILA, administered by the Canada Revenue Agency, is the cause of the restricted trade. In reality, the combination of the IILA and provincial legislation makes this trade illegal. It is the provinces' legislation that makes it illegal, so we should work with the provinces to change this legislation and support Bill C-311. I am sure this would help everyone, not only the—