Coulson Litigation will speak for small B.C. wineries in R. v. Comeau. Submitted photo

Canada’s Supreme Court to hear from small B.C. wineries

Okanagan wineries granted intervener status in monumental case

Five small B.C. wineries seeking change to the law governing interprovincial shipping of wine and liquor across Canada will be interveners on a monumental Supreme Court of Canada appeal.

Curtis Krouzel (50th Parallel Estate), Ian MacDonald (Liquidity Wines), Jim D’Andrea (Noble Ridge Vineyard and Winery), Christine Coletta (Okanagan Crush Pad Winery) and John Skinner (Painted Rock Estate Winery) each own and operate vineyards and wineries that produce wine exclusively using 100 per cent B.C. grown grapes. These five producers head a coalition of more than 100 small wineries from British Columbia and were granted intervener status. This allows a nonparty into the litigation because of a right or interest in the lawsuit.

Related: Hurdles shipping wine to Ontario, never mind U.S.

The interprovincial barriers, the coalition states, pose an existential threat to wineries, who need national distribution direct to consumers to build a sufficient business for long-term survival. As such, the Supreme Court of Canada decision in R. v. Comeau will determine the fate of the B.C. wine industry for decades to come.

“The court has to balance many complex interests, but my clients will argue that it is possible to incrementally change the law to permit interprovincial shipments of Canadian wine, and why it is of fundamental importance to the future survival of the industry to remove these barriers,” said Shea Coulson, counsel for the five winery owners.

R. v. Comeau is the first court case in which any winery in Canada has had an opportunity to address the legal barriers to inter-provincial shipping of Canadian wine. The Supreme Court will hear the case in Dec. 6 and 7.

Coulson said his aim is to inform the court about the significant negative impact on small B.C. wineries created by interprovincial barriers that prohibit shipment of wine to Canadians across the country. As well, they intend to show that the shipping of Canadian liquor is inconsistent across Canada.

“Everyone will have an opportunity to submit a written argument to the court setting out their position. After the hearing, the court could take up to a year to make its decision,” said Coulson in a press release.

Just Posted

Fernie women step in to save autism program

Branch Out Learning and Behaviour Therapy to replace EK Behaviour Intervention Program in June

Reader survey offers Free Press readers $5000 cash prize

The Free Press is offering readers the chance to win $5000 cash… Continue reading

SD5 drafts business case for Fernie school expansion

Ecole Isabella Dicken Elementary School is currently 30 per cent over capacity

District of Elkford celebrates grand opening of new municipal office

Submitted District of Elkford The District of Elkford has officially begun serving… Continue reading

GALLERY: Fernie hosts mine rescue competition

Fording River, Line Creek mine rescue teams off to provincials after placing first and second

Killer of Calgary mother, daughter gets no parole for 50 years

A jury found Edward Downey guilty last year in the deaths of Sara Baillie, 34, and five-year-old Taliyah Marsman

Fernie barbecue chef challenge this weekend

May 26 cook off to showcase local talent and produce, while raising funds for Fernie Rotoary

Community spirit saves Sparwood’s Coal Miner Days

Volunteers still needed to help run event, which will be held from June 3-9 at various locations

Most British Columbians agree the ‘big one’ is coming, but only 50% are prepared

Only 46 per cent of British Columbians have prepared an emergency kit with supplies they might need

B.C. man to pay Maxime Bernier’s People’s Party $20k over lawsuit

Federal judge shut down Satinder Dhillon’s ‘nonsensical’ motion to bar use of PPC name in byelection

Sitting and sleeping on downtown sidewalks could net $100 fine in Penticton

The measure, which still requires final approval, would be enforced between May and Sept. 30

Survey finds 15% of Canadian cannabis users with a valid licence drive within two hours of using

Survey also finds middle-aged men are upping their usage following legalization

Most Read