Cheers! B.C., Sask. reach deal on sale of wines, spirits
Marlene Leung, CTVNews.ca
Published Friday, August 29, 2014 9:46AM EDT
Last Updated Friday, August 29, 2014 1:16PM EDT
British Columbia and Saskatchewan have reached a deal, which will allow consumers to freely purchase wines and spirits from producers in the other province, including Saskatchewan's "dill pickle vodka."
The deal will allow B.C. and Saskatchewan consumers to have wine and spirits delivered to their homes directly from producers in the other province.
B.C. Premier Christy Clark made the announcement Friday morning from the premiers' conference in Charlottetown, P.E.I.
"We are reaching a reciprocal agreement, we still need to hammer out all the fine details, but broadly it will mean that it is no longer illegal to bring B.C. wine into Saskatchewan or Saskatchewan wine into British Columbia for personal use," Clark said. She added that craft spirits will also be subject to the same agreement.
"This is a first step, another step, in opening up trade between our provinces."
Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall also announced the deal on Twitter, giving special mention to a spirit known as "dill pickle vodka" that's produced at a Saskatchewan distillery.
Wall has been promoting the spirit during the course of the conference.
Wall said the full agreement could be in place by June 2015, but he believes the provisions concerning wine sales could be in place by early next year.
B.C. was the first province to open up its borders to the free importation of wines from other provinces, and Clark said the province has not felt almost no economic repercussions from the move.
"We were the first ones to do it, and we have felt almost no fiscal impact from that, but it's been fantastic for consumers," she said.
Clark said she's encouraged to see that other provinces are taking similar steps to drop the barriers for consumers.
“Manitoba has now made it possible. Nova Scotia is very close to finishing their regulations which will allow it to be possible. Saskatchewan is now on track,” she said, adding that Premier Kathleen Wynne is thinking "very positively" about striking a similar deal for Ontario.
Currently, consumers in Saskatchewan are limited to wines or spirits available for sale through the Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority stores.