supreme court rules on Comeau case

Update #2 – April 19, 2018 8:00 AM PDT

This morning at 9:45 a.m. (EST) the Supreme Court of Canada has ruled on Her Majesty the Queen v. Gerard Comeau. The ruling states the following: Section 121 does not impose absolute free trade across Canada. Read our statement.


UPDATE #1 – April 18, 2018

The Supreme Court will issue a ruling on Her Majesty the Queen v. Gerard Comeau on Thursday, April 19th. The case challenges current restrictions on interprovincial trade and has the potential to open the door to Direct-to-Consumer purchase of wine, leading to greater consumer choice and important growth for Canada’s highest value agricultural industry.

The British Columbia Wine Institute(BCWI) in conjunction with the Canadian Vintners Association CVA has worked tirelessly to facilitate trade across Canada and expand consumer choice by advocating for winery Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) purchase of wine; we are hopeful that the Supreme Court of Canada decision will remove the interprovincial trade barriers that currently make DTC difficult – and in some cases, impossible – for Canadian consumers.

Unfair interprovincial trade barriers have harmed Canada’s wine industry. Most wine sold in Canada are imports and over the past decade, imports have captured 75% of wine sales growth compared to 10% for Canadian. This is largely because it is so difficult for Canadians to obtain wines not produced in the provinces in which they live – 100% Canadian wine represents less than a 5% wine sales market share in 8 of 10 provinces.

DTC sale of wine would allow consumers to purchase wines of their choice, and support wineries and grape growers. Nine out of 10 Canadians believe consumers should be permitted to order wine for delivery to their home from any Canadian winery, in any province.
Consumers want convenience and a greater choice of Canadian wines. As the provincial voice of British Columbian wineries and grape growers, the BCWI will continue to advocate for DTC sales until the laws change.

Want to know more about the Comeau case and how a Supreme Court Ruling can affect Direct-To-Consumer sale of wine? Read our FAQ.