House of Commons Hansard #129 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was work.

Topics

Importation of Intoxicating Liquors Act
Private Members' Business

5:40 p.m.

Conservative

Dan Albas Okanagan—Coquihalla, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Okanagan region, where I come from, has over 100 wineries. Most are small family operations. Many of them simply lack the volume to sell through the traditional government liquor distribution system and so this is an important policy for them. As their MP in Ottawa, it is an issue I am happy to take forward on their behalf.

I have been contacted with support from other wineries across Canada, but I have only received a few contacts with regard to that. Every industry is different and has different needs. What I have heard from the wine industry, large and small producers right across this country, is that they support this amendment.

It might be an idea for us as members to speak with the industry representatives to see how we could help grow the economy in other industries such as beer.

Importation of Intoxicating Liquors Act
Private Members' Business

5:40 p.m.

Conservative

Daryl Kramp Prince Edward—Hastings, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the member very much on behalf of the fine wine producers in the riding of Prince Edward—Hastings. I do not think the member would object to a little plug. We have over 30 world-class wineries.

I am so pleased to be able to second the bill. It is so long overdue. To literally make a crime from an issue that most people take as a foregone conclusion is a classic oversight. I would like to say, on behalf of this House and colleagues I have talked to on this side, who I know will give unanimous consent, time is of the essence on this bill for our producers. Would the member please give us a little more reinforcement on why we need this bill tonight?

Importation of Intoxicating Liquors Act
Private Members' Business

5:40 p.m.

Conservative

Dan Albas Okanagan—Coquihalla, BC

Mr. Speaker, my Conservative colleague has done a tremendous amount of work on this issue. It is important that we see this bill go forward. There are people in the grape growing sector, vintners and consumers, who have been waiting 84 years for this legislation to be clarified, for the federal government to get out of the way so that we can free our grapes.

I hope that all members will consider them and the families of those vintners as this grape growing season looms ahead.

Importation of Intoxicating Liquors Act
Private Members' Business

5:40 p.m.

NDP

Alex Atamanenko British Columbia Southern Interior, BC

Mr. Speaker, I am happy to say a few words in support of Bill C-311. I would like to thank my colleague for Okanagan—Coquihalla for taking the initiative to introduce the bill.

I know there is pressure to fast-track the bill through Parliament, and I understand that. However, it should be noted that this issue is not new. The Canadian Vintners Association has been requesting more flexibility in our liquor laws for a number of years.

I became involved a few years ago. I wrote the minister on September 2010 and received a very favourable response. At the time, he mentioned that he was soliciting input from provinces and territories to enter into a consensus-building approach to explore the impact of the limitations in place under the act. Subsequently, we had more communication. It is my understanding that this was in the process.

To those who say that we need to go very quickly, I understand that. However, we should put this in context: this issue has been under consideration for a while. Theoretically, the government could have introduced legislation long ago and resolved the issue. That did not happen and we are here today debating this important bill.

Hopefully we can move it forward today. It would certainly be very appropriate if we could change this law before the summer tourist season.

Why is this bill important?

First, it would allow consumers to buy a reasonable quantity of wine directly for personal consumption. The quantity would be defined by each province.

Let us not forget that it is illegal for me, for example, to go to a winery in Ontario, buy a bottle of wine there and take that bottle home with me to British Columbia. It is absurd.

This bill would also address the legal issues surrounding interprovincial wine tourism and would allow wineries to ship their products, including products ordered online, directly to customers in other provinces, according to the limits set by those provinces.

So to support this bill is to support choice for consumers. It would greatly benefit Canadians to have a wider choice of wines, particularly from small wineries all over Canada.

We must remember that the Canadian wine industry is beginning to make an international reputation for itself as a temperate zone wine producer. It has won an impressive number of awards and has earned the praise of a number of the world's most influential countries in terms of wine appreciation.

Making this act more flexible would broaden the choice, while still maintaining the monopoly enjoyed by each province's liquor board.

While I am here I will give a plug to our B.C. government liquor stores and their employees. It is my understanding that the passage of Bill C-311 will not in any way interfere with our provincial liquor boards to serve citizens in our communities. Our government liquor stores are first-class with a wide variety of products and employees who are knowledgeable and proud of what they do. We should also not forget that they play a major role, with their half-decent wages, in contributing to the economy, especially in our small communities. Good union jobs in our small communities are the best guarantee of the survival of a small business. Government liquor store employees contribute significantly to the economy of the communities in which they live and work.

It is important, especially for our small rural communities, for everyone to rally in support of retaining well-paying jobs. I have spoken with representatives of chambers of commerce and labour about the idea of presenting a united front the next time there are proposed government cutbacks that threaten our workers and the way of life in our small communities.

I thank the Canadian Vintners Association, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and all the wineries in my riding, the riding of the member for Okanagan—Coquihalla, in Kelowna and right across the country. I have tasted fine wines in Ontario, too. These wineries have rallied in support of this legislation.

Hopefully very soon, ideally this summer, the summer tourists will be able to visit wineries in other provinces, buy a few bottles and take them home with them legally.

I thank my colleague from Okanagan—Coquihalla again for spearheading this important issue.

Importation of Intoxicating Liquors Act
Private Members' Business

May 29th, 2012 / 5:45 p.m.

Liberal

Justin Trudeau Papineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, I have a confession to make. Through the work of my hon. colleague from Okanagan—Coquihalla, I have discovered that I have broken the law not just once but on numerous occasions, like many Canadians.

Last summer, I had the privilege of visiting my good friend, the MP for Kings—Hants, in the gorgeous Annapolis Valley in Nova Scotia. We visited the Muir Murray Winery where I tasted a glass of the fine local product and promptly bought a bottle to bring home to my wife. On that flight home to Montreal from Halifax I broke the law.

A number of years ago, I visited my friend, Anthony von Mandl, who owns the Mission Hill Winery in the riding of Okanagan—Coquihalla, producing some of the finest wine in Canada. There are many fine wines in Canada but it is one of my personal favourites. I discovered a wine called Oculus, which is extraordinary. Again I brought a couple of bottles home and broke the law.

Similar stories happened when I visited friends in the Niagara region and friends right across the country. I am proud to say that Canadian wine producers are becoming world-class in their quality, in their extraordinary vision and in their sharing of an extraordinary product of our land.

For me, the fact that here in the House we discuss regularly free trade agreements that we are trying to reach out and sign around the world, whether it be with Europe, South America or places in Asia, that we still are saddled with interprovincial barriers that prevent us from having truly free trade within Canada is something we certainly need to address.

Eighty years ago there was no perspective that there could be Canadian wineries but over the past 25 years or so they have come a long way. To finally be able to say that we are doing something is wonderful.

It is a shame that the current government did not decide to make it a bill but the previous Liberal government did not get around to it either. A tip of the hat to my colleague from Okanagan—Coquihalla for standing up, not just for his region but for regions across the country.

But, since I come from Quebec, I know that a lot of people are concerned about areas of provincial jurisdiction, including the fact that sales of alcohol are a provincial responsibility. In Quebec, the Société des alcools du Québec is certainly well aware of its authority to regulate the sale and consumption of alcohol in Quebec. So I was anxious to check whether in fact this bill, which the Liberal Party enthusiastically supports, is actually in accordance with those areas of jurisdiction.

Since it is a bill that is supported by consumers and producers all over Canada, we are already off to a good start. It respects provincial jurisdiction because, given that the province of destination controls what it imports, the province itself can determine what quantity of wine can be imported for personal use. When we come back from overseas, we can bring in 1.5 litres. In Ontario, we can bring back up to nine litres of Canadian wine. It is less elsewhere, but the ability to establish basic rules that say that this is legal and that allow each province to limit quantity is a very good thing.

The industry is growing, especially in Quebec. It has been 25 years now since a few producers ventured into winemaking in Quebec. Over the past five years, winemaking has boomed. Even though the financial means of the majority of businesses remain modest, the know-how of Quebec's wine producers and the development of highly specific and refined techniques are promising.

The wine is good. Quebec's ice wines are world-class wines. Approximately 100 medals have been awarded to the wines made by Quebec's wine producers. It is true that we have a bit of catching up to do compared to the awards given to the wines from Niagara, Okanagan, British Columbia and even Annapolis in Nova Scotia, but we are very competitive. All we need is a little extra help.

So it is a very good idea to encourage Canadians to visit our wineries in Quebec, to try wines across Canada and to bring them back home, and to discover our local products on another level. We are going to be able to show more pride in our Canadian products. We encourage people to come and visit the vineyards, to come and sample gourmet dishes and to discover wonderful places in the Eastern Townships.

Last weekend, during the National Patriots Day long weekend, I had a chance to visit the Eastern Townships with my family. We went to the Orpailleur vineyard in Dunham. I sampled a few good bottles and I would really like to be able to invite the hon. members of the House of Commons to come and discover our Quebec wines. I hope that we will be able to do so by passing this bill.

The Liberal Party and I are pleased and proud to support this bill, which will encourage our Canadian wine producers and Canadians in particular to be proud of our products from across the country.

Importation of Intoxicating Liquors Act
Private Members' Business

5:55 p.m.

NDP

Fin Donnelly New Westminster—Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, I will provide some summary remarks. I support this bill and appreciate the hard work of members in preparing and bringing forward this bill.

The prohibition on interprovincial liquor importation is governed at the federal level by the Importation of Intoxicating Liquors Act, the IILA, and, at the provincial-territorial level, by statutes that govern the importation, sale, transportation, warehousing and packaging of alcoholic beverages.

Bill C-311, which is an act to amend the Importation of Intoxicating Liquors Act for the purposes of personal use, proposes to amend the IILA by providing a new exemption to the prohibition on the interprovincial importation of intoxicating liquors, except for purchases made by provincial-territorial liquor boards, commissions or corporations. This bill would allow the importation of wine from a province by an individual if he or she brings the wine into another province for personal consumption. This importation would be required to be in quantities as permitted by the laws of that province or territory in which the wine is being imported.

Under current federal legislation, if an individual wishes to purchase wine that is available only in a province other than the one in which he or she resides, the individual must make the purchase through the provincial-territorial liquor board, commission or corporation and must pay the associated taxes, mark-up rates and other special levies on the alcohol. That is by way of summary.

In terms of some of the comments on this bill, I think the industry and the public consider the IILA administered by CRA, the Canada Revenue Agency, is the cause of the restricted trade. In reality, the combination of the IILA and the provincial legislation makes this trade illegal.

Pursuant to the IILA, all imports from one province into another must be made by the provincial liquor board or a private corporation designated by the province. This includes wine brought in by an individual from one province into another.

While the IILA does restrict interprovincial wine imports, provinces have the power to control the possession, sale, purchase and transport of wine within their respective jurisdictions. Provincial liquor boards impose a significant mark-up fee on wine produced or sold within a particular provincial jurisdiction. Most provincial legislations specifically allow a limited amount of wine for personal use to be brought into another province. For example, the Liquor Control Board of Ontario issued a news release in June of last year announcing a formal policy to permit up to nine litres of wine provided it accompanies the individual.

I know the hon. member who introduced this bill referred to the history but I will add to it. The current law, which is section 3(1) of the IILA, stems from 1928 during the post-prohibition era when the various Canadian provinces were making the transition from prohibition to liquor board systems for liquor distribution. It created a restriction on both the transport of liquor across the provinces and provincial borders and the shipment of liquor between provinces unless the liquor was purchased by the liquor board in the destination province.

What we are looking for? I will go back to the bill. This bill would permit consumers to directly purchase wine in reasonable amounts for personal consumption, which is defined by each province and territory. It would address the legal issues related to interprovincial wine tourism and enable wineries to directly ship, including online, to consumers in provinces in compliance with provincial limits.

We support the bill as it stands, but we do have some suggestions for change as it moves forward. We support the matter of consumer choice. Canadians will certainly benefit from a greater selection of wine, especially smaller wineries across the country. The government needs to support the growing domestic industries, particularly in emerging wine-producing regions from Nova Scotia right across the country to British Columbia.

The Canadian wine industry is emerging as an internationally recognized cool climate wine producer, garnering an impressive list of awards and praise from many of the world's most influential wine critics. There are others that are onboard with the bill, including the Canadian Vintners Association, the Alliance of Canadian Wine Consumers and many wineries across the country.

I do want to make special note of British Columbia and the wine-making and wine-growing industry in our province. Vineyards, certainly in the interior of British Columbia, the Okanagan, Osoyoos, Kelowna and many other parts of the province, including Vancouver Island, which is certainly emerging as a wine-growing region, the Fraser Valley and pockets of the Fraser Canyon are becoming known for their wine or ice wine.

There is also the idea of tourism and the importance of tourism in British Columbia as it relates to the bill, which would allow wine to be transported out of the province. B.C. is well-known for bringing in individuals from outside of British Columbia, from other provinces and territories, and also from other parts of the world. The United States, Europe and many other places around the world come to British Columbia for our fine wine and to enjoy what we have in that amazing part of Canada.

In summary, I will again lend my support to the bill. I strongly support the move to make an historical amendment to allow wine to be transported from province to province. I would like to see an amendment that would look at the labelling, which would include where the wine is made. That would enhance the bill.

Knowing where the wine comes from is quite critical. Consumers are not only enjoying wine, but they are becoming more sophisticated in knowing how the grapes are grown and where they come from. This is an important aspect that should be considered and included in the bill today.

Again, I thank the hon. member and previous members for their work on getting the bill to this stage.

Importation of Intoxicating Liquors Act
Private Members' Business

6:05 p.m.

NDP

Kennedy Stewart Burnaby—Douglas, BC

Mr. Speaker, I am also happy to rise today in support of Bill C-311, an Act to amend the Importation of Intoxicating Liquors Act.

As a couple of my hon. colleagues have so elegantly stated, under the current legislation, if an individual wishes to purchase wine that is available only in a province other than the one in which he or she resides, the individual must make the purchase through a liquor board or commission. The changes to the IILA will change that and allow the importation of wine from a province by an individual.

This bill also strikes the right balance between ensuring that the province maintains jurisdiction over this and at the same time changing the federal law to allow the province more discretion.

The bill is a good idea. It is simple, but those are often the best ideas.

I had the great fortune of growing up in the Annapolis Valley in Nova Scotia. I was forced to leave in the 1980s. There was not a lot of work so I made my way out to beautiful Burnaby, British Columbia. I just had the opportunity to go back for my mother's birthday a couple of weeks ago and I did go down to the Annapolis Valley. I have been back a few times. The sun was out, it was a beautiful Victoria Day weekend and we had some beautiful wine from the Annapolis Valley region.

What a change there has been since the late 1980s until now and how the addition of vineyards to the Annapolis Valley has really changed and vastly improved the area and has done a lot for the local economy. It has brought tourists back to the region. When the wine is combined with lobster, apples and the produce there, it cannot be beat. I was really glad to see that.

Again, small changes like this to existing legislation can really go a long way to boosting that industry a bit more.

What I also noticed in Nova Scotia was the co-operation between vineyards. I thought that was a really good idea. They have come together and decided to produce this wine in all vineyards called l'Acadie, which is a great white wine. It is those kinds of co-operative actions between the vineyards, in association with changes to a law like this, that will help those vineyards and this industry grow in Canada.

I did not know this and was a little alarmed to hear that only 6% of the wine consumed in Canada was grown and aged here, which is something we should work to fix. With having wine experience on both coasts, there is a lot we can do and a lot to promote.

With respect to the other coast, after having grown up in Nova Scotia, and I liked the wines there, the wines in British Columbia are outstanding. There are 210 wineries and 864 vineyards from what I have been able to research. I am not just excited about the product, which I enjoy with my wife Jeanette, but I am also excited about the economic impacts to this industry.

Therefore, when I was reading the bill, and I am happy to support it, I was also thinking of this theory by Jane Jacobs, the great scholar. People know she talks about cities. She also talks about the idea of import replacement, which is a terrific idea. Initially, we import some technology or product, local people get to like it and they start developing it themselves and often improve it. However, what is more important for our economy in terms of wines is that the locally-produced product starts to replace what we used to import. If that goes really well, we start importing back to the place from which we used to buy product. This is a possibility for the Canadian wine industry over the next little while and it is changes like this that will help.

This is an industry that has to be nurtured. The French, Italian and South African wines are massive vineyards that could easily swamp our smaller vineyards in B.C., Nova Scotia and Ontario. We really have to be conscious of the fact that we want to help this industry grow along, and the bill does help that.

Something else my colleagues might want to know is that while teaching at Simon Fraser, I had a couple of colleagues who were looking at the genome technology in wines. This is under study in a lot of countries, and it is basically altering grapes. It is not done naturally. The genes in the grapes are manipulated and that is able to change the taste of wines, the speed of aging and those kinds of things.

Professors Michael Howlett and David Laycock had a very large grant from Genome Canada to study this. They just had a recent book out called Regulating Next Generation Agri-Food Biotechnologies by the Taylor & Francis Group.

We were reminded early on today this was an antiquated act that we were updating today, hopefully, if it goes through here and the next place, but we really have to be ready for the next generation of ideas about this. Therefore, I would suggest that at some point in the House or in an agricultural committee we could take a look at how genome technology affects this and other agricultural industries. It is important to get the policies right in these areas, to approach them from a neutral perspective and ask what is the best thing for Canada.

Again, coming back to this change, having been through the Annapolis Valley and in the vineyards in B.C., this is going to help, but not in a tremendous way though. That is why it is an appropriate place for a private member's bill. It is these types of industries on which we have to get a better handle.

To go back to the beginning of my 10 minutes here, I was talking about growing up in Nova Scotia. With the Acadians there was some tradition of growing wine, but it was not until we brought in experts from abroad that the wine industry in Nova Scotia began to take off, and it benefits all kinds of communities.

For example, in Nova Scotia now we have first nations involved in the wine industry. There is a very famous Okanagan vineyard Nk'Mip Cellars, which is growing by great leaps and bounds. This industry does show how often we look for traditional industries in order to supply economic growth and job development. However, sometimes it is the smaller kinds of industries that are on the edge that perhaps we have not thought of before, which would be areas of growth especially in areas that perhaps have had little economic development in the past.

The ability for personal transportation of wine across provincial borders is a good idea, but we may expand this as well. Again, maybe I can encourage my hon. colleague the next time he comes back with a private member's bill to talk perhaps about microbreweries. In British Columbia there are very famous microbreweries.

Not to belabour the Nova Scotian connection, but when I was a teenager there I used to babysit young kids. They moved out to British Columbia and started a great local brewery called Phillips Brewing Company. When I first moved to B.C. as well, I used to drive a truck for Shaftebury Brewing Company. These are the kinds of small industries that make a special product that people really enjoy. These are boutique products, but there is no reason why people in other provinces should not be able to enjoy them and be able to transfer them across provincial borders worry free.

If we think where the Canadian wine industry was 20 years ago, it was nowhere near 6% of the total of our wine consumption. It has grown to 6%, but I would encourage the government to encourage clustering and investing in clusters in regions where this growth is prevalent and perhaps could be nurtured a bit.

Importation of Intoxicating Liquors Act
Private Members' Business

6:10 p.m.

NDP

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—

Importation of Intoxicating Liquors Act
Private Members' Business

6:20 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Bruce Stanton

Order, please.

Is the hon. member for Okanagan—Coquihalla rising on a point of order?

Importation of Intoxicating Liquors Act
Private Members' Business

6:20 p.m.

Conservative

Dan Albas Okanagan—Coquihalla, BC

Yes, Mr. Speaker. It has been referred to many times tonight that this bill needs amendment. I would just like to remind all hon. members that at this point we have already passed report stage, we have already passed the finance committee review, and there have been no amendments from any of the NDP members or from any of the opposition members.

I would like to raise that point because we want to see debate at least come from information that we can all agree on.

Importation of Intoxicating Liquors Act
Private Members' Business

6:20 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Bruce Stanton

I appreciate the intervention from the hon. member for Okanagan—Coquihalla. Indeed, there is the ability to pose amendments at third reading stage of a private member's bill. We have not heard any proposal formally, as such, and of course any amendments would have to be admissible in terms of the third stage of the bill.

Just for the clarification of the House, it is not exactly a point of order, but we appreciate the intervention and the clarification for other hon. members.

The hon. member for Nickel Belt.

Importation of Intoxicating Liquors Act
Private Members' Business

6:20 p.m.

NDP

Claude Gravelle Nickel Belt, ON

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I appreciate the member for Okanagan—Coquihalla letting us know about this. However, I want to make sure that he knows that we will be introducing some amendments, and those amendments are about making the wine with 100% Canadian grapes.

How can anybody oppose using 100% Canadian grapes? We cannot oppose that.

Hopefully, the member for Okanagan—Coquihalla is going to accept these amendments, maybe as friendly amendments, and we can put that in the bill. The only people we would be helping if we did that would be the people in the Canadian wine industry.

Importation of Intoxicating Liquors Act
Private Members' Business

6:20 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Bruce Stanton

Resuming debate. The hon. member for Newton—North Delta. I would remind the hon. member that I will have to interrupt her at the half hour point, as this would be the end of the time allocated for private members' business.

Importation of Intoxicating Liquors Act
Private Members' Business

6:20 p.m.

NDP

Jinny Sims Newton—North Delta, BC

I understand, Mr. Speaker.

It is my pleasure today to rise in support of this legislation.

It is interesting how we learn so much. I moved to Canada in 1975. I have taken wine from one province into another without even knowing that I was not supposed to do that. Almost every member in the House whom I have talked to has said they have done the same thing. Every one of us needs to support this bill so that all of us can be made legal. For that reason alone, we need to support the bill.

This is just a hangover from the old Prohibition days. We have accepted that Prohibition is over. Alcohol is sold in every province. It is time to put an end to this archaic piece of legislation that is just sitting there, especially now that it does not serve a purpose and has actually become a barrier.

I am very impressed with the number of wineries right across Canada. When I went through the Niagara area, I saw wonderful wineries. I saw wineries in Quebec. I was even surprised to see wineries way out on the east coast.

B.C. has some of the best wineries anywhere, whether it is Burrowing Owl or Mission Hill. Now I am going to upset people, because I am not going to be able to mention all of them, but we have some amazing wines and wineries.

It just makes common sense that Canadians, as they travel across this beautiful country, should be able not only to imbibe the grape juice while they are visiting those wineries but should also be able to take a bottle or two back home with them for personal consumption.

Wines from some of these wineries—at least, some of my favourite ones—are often not very available in wine stores. They sell out long before it gets out there. Who would not want to buy a case of Mission Hill wine or Burrowing Owl wine, or some of the other wonderful wines we have around the country, and why would we want to stop Canadians from supporting Canadian businesses?

Most of us here understand economics. Economics involves encouraging people to buy Canadian. I have always felt that made common sense.

When people come here from other parts of the world, they are amazed by the quality of wine that Canada is producing. If that is so, then it makes common sense to make it available to Canadians. If colleagues of mine should happen to come to B.C. from Ontario and fall in love with one of the B.C. wines, we do not want to just hold them captive until they just drink themselves silly; we want them to taste the wine and enjoy it. We want them to be able to buy many bottles and take them back to Ontario to share with their friends. That would not only help to support the winery in B.C. but would also help to support Canadian wine all over, because a colleague will serve the wine to a diversity of people--

Importation of Intoxicating Liquors Act
Private Members' Business

6:20 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Bruce Stanton

Order. Is the hon. member for Kelowna—Lake Country rising on a point of order?