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October 27, 2017 7:17 pm

Province to Fight Wine Challenge

Thursday, January 19, 2017 @ 5:55 AM

Prince George,  B.C. – B.C is prepared to stand up  against the  trade action launched by the United States over  B.C’s  sale of B.C. only wines in grocery stores.Shirley Bond, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour says  the Provincial Government  supports the growth of the  wine industry  and will defend it “The B.C. government is confident that we are complying with B.C.’s and Canada’s international trade obligations.”

Yesterday, the U.S. action  filed with the World Trade Organization, claims  B.C.’s policy which allows only  B.C.  wines to be sold in grocery stores,  discriminates against U.S.  wines and breaches Canada’s WTO commitments.

Minister Bond says  the Province will  continue to work with Global Affairs Canada “to ensure that B.C.’s liquor policies fall within these trade obligations, and we will continue to work with GAC through the upcoming consultation

Bond adds that  there are  more than a thousand  liquor stores in B.C. which  carry imported alcohol “Trade agreements such as NAFTA allow for a number of private wine outlets that sell only B.C. wine, and we are confident in the approach we have taken.”


I am shocked to see that the Americans think that us buying local wines is an issue. The word hypocrite comes to mind. Americans are all about “Buy America” and when we support our own industry they see a problem….WOW.

I for one think big brother to the South has bigger problems than BC citizens drinking local wine!!

    Doesn’t surprise me! If I remember correctly California has a big debt with us on water/hydro power. Big brother has no problem pushing our leaders around. Seems they take what suits them, also the lumber issue. When is Canada going to pull up their big girl panties? Almost embarrassing to say the least!

    You, the consumer, don’t have to buy it. Buy Canadian all you want.

    The government isn’t allowed to tell retailers what they can and cant stock. That’s free trade, and we still (for now) have an agreement with the US.

      ‘Free’ trade, at their convenience. It is close to a joke!

      You are telling me Obama is concerned that 12 stores in BC are under VQA? It is part of a much bigger fight, you will see a whole myriad of trade allegations in the next while so they can get the best deal by giving in to the small stuff.

      These 12 stores cannot sell alcohol as they are too close to an existing liquor store, they can only sell under VQA – you can’t add other liquor to the shelves as it violates the current law – they will have to pull all of it

    Buy local promotions is on thing ….. a government edict that if you want to buy wine at a grocery store, then you will only have access to BC wines.

    I would NEVER buy wine at the loacl grocery store currently selling it. It is very elitist.

    On the other hand, if one is in the Okanagan there are several specialty wine outlets that sell only Okanagan wines. Nothing wrong with that. It is free enterprise. They have the choice. It is not an edict from the government.

    I know that there is no such regulation in Quebec or Ontario. Both have a wine industry they could decide to protect.

    Yes, it is a protectionist policy which is against NAFTA and the WTO.

      Those “specialty” wine outlets ARE the VQA stores in the NAFTA dispute. They have a VQA license to sell wines, it is a specialty license for selling VQA wines. You can buy directly from each winery but they can only sell their brand unless they have a VQA license to sell others. You see it as free enterprise on one hand and protectionist on the other?

      The report states: “B.C is prepared to stand up against the trade action launched by the United States over B.C’s sale of B.C. only wines in GROCERY STORES.”

      You say otherwise. Give me a link where your version is upheld.

Good on Shirley Bond for taking a stand on this issue. This is a good start.

    She’s not taking a stand. BC only wine in the grocery stores was and is all about “paying back” party donors and supporters.

      I agree

      I agree, anything that is good for Jimmy, is good for the Liberal Party of BC.

The government is treating us like children. What’s wrong with selling beer? What’s wrong with selling liquor?

What is all this hype about wine anyhow? Is wine somehow elitists, do only deploables drink beer and liquor? Booze is booze.

    BC only wine in the grocery stores was and is all about “paying back” party donors and supporters.

      that and/or the wineries are paying a stipend to the grocery stores to carry their goods.

BC knew they were violating a trade agreement when licensing BC only wine sales in grocery stores. First thing they should do tomorrow is open up various percentages of shelf space to imports.
They will absolutely lose a ton on legal fees defending this action and a tribunal will decide available shelf space.
They are also violating an interprovincial trade deal they made last year with Quebec and Ontario for that matter.

    Look up what the fight is over, these stores cannot carry liquor under the law as they are too close to existing retailers. These 12 grocery stores are under a separate agreement that has been in place for a long time and never disputed by anyone – the VQA.

Put American wines in the stores but it is the consumers who will decided what to drink..not the government!

    You can’t it is against the law

      and THAT is the problem. The law contravenes NAFTA ….. what a good argument for the US with respect to the lumber agreement!!!

      The law doesn’t, they are too close to existing liquor sellers – that does not contravene NAFTA.

      They wrote a law to allow BC only wine in Grocery stores, that is against NAFTA. If it wasn’t about re-paying party donors/supporters, the law would have been written to allow all wines…and beer for that matter.

      This site sux for trying to type something in on a mobile, erases everything when it refreshes

      Suffice as to say BS fate, they wrote no new laws but only changed who is allowed to carry liquor products. This argument is about 12 grocery stores that are too close to existing liquor stores so they cannot sell liquor. They fall under a section that has always been in the rules which has never been disputed before that they can only sell VQA wines

      Canada should get more protectionist, Feds should get their butt in gear and not leave everything for the private sector to lobby. They don’t want 2x4s going to the US well slap duties on all competing wood products shipped to Cansda, the valuation of the US dollar is a subsidy. It is artificially held high. Proof? Trump tweets the dollar is too high and poof it drops in value

      You are wrong slinky and fate has it right! Selling alcohol (wine) in grocery stores required amendments to B.C.’s Liquor Control and Licensing Act. This Liberal government did not even think about the implications of those amendments with respect to the NAFTA agreement.

      The amendments made to B.C.’s Liquor Control and Licensing Act are in violation of the terms and conditions of the NAFTA Agreement, once again we will find the BC Liberals ending up on the wrong side of the law! Hope the ruling comes in before the May 9th election just so we, the voters, get to witness one more loss in court by this incompetent government.

      Trump wants to tear up NAFTA! We may be wasting our money on a needless lawsuit! Both NAFTA and NATO are on his chopping block – especially NATO!

People will buy the wine they like.. it doesn’t matter where it’s sold.. if you want to sell your wine..make sure it appeals to the consumer… they will drive to get it …

This is what happens when you sell your sovereignty to organizations like the WTO and the TPP.

    Who is selling sovereignty? There is a simple agreement. If one does not understand it, one should not sign it.

      ALL the nations that sign those agreements are selling their sovereignty, because the ONLY way they can see how to get enough ‘money’ to make their economies work is for every country to sell MORE stuff to other countries than they buy back from them. The figures with the $ signs in front of them have blinded them to the physical realities of actual wealth, and create a mathematical impossibility financially.

She’s just pandering to her OK riding . Mean while Andrew Weaver is trying to point PG in the right direction. He said PG could be a tech hub if it had proper infrastructure. He knows what he is talking about and the nay Sayers do not . The sector that Clark should be pandering to is the tech sector . The tech sector in BCs now employs 101000 . That’s more than mining , oil , gas and forestry combined . Andrew pointed out PGs deficiency and was laughed off . Sadly the laugh is on PG .

    Timescolonist.com shows how far behind we are in the fastest growing sector in bc (604)

Its interesting how we can say that the Tech Industry is producing jobs in the Province, while at the same time say that technology allows us to reduce jobs.

Tech jobs create more jobs than they destroy. The point is we don’t have the infrastructure to create them here . Victoria has the right infrastructure. That’s why twenty thousand people work there making high wages . They have a population of 80k . A little more infrastructure in PG could bring 20K high paying jobs . That’s what Weaver was on about . He’s got a very sharpe pencil. Some body at city hall should borrow it . Or maybe Victoria won’t let the North compete .

    “Greater Victoria” has a population of about four times that of “Greater PG”.

    Where the city boundary is drawn really does not matter. How many live in a one hour or less commuting distance for work, shopping, entertainment, etc. matters.


    Victoria CMA (Census Metro Area) = 344,615 (2011 Census of Population)
    Growth rate of 4.4% from 2006 to 2011
    The City of Victoria makes up 23.22% of the CMA population

    Prince George CA (Census Agglomeration) = 84,232
    The City population is 71,974
    The City of PG makes up 85.5% of the CA population.

    In addition, the PG Census Agglomeration includes everything between Valemount and PG, as well as everything to Mackenzie as well as to Hixon.
    Those are vast distances compared to the Victoria CMA.

    Of the 12,258 who live in those more remote towns and villages plus associated rural areas, about half live in the immediate area outside of the City limits. So one could say that the unofficial CMA of Prince George has a population of around 78,000.

    It will take another 22,000 population to be considered one of the 33 cities which are included in the CMA category. At the rate we are going right now, it will take another couple of generations (a generation is considered to be 20 years) to achieve that level ….. or until they start fracking for oil/gas to the west of us, or the government implements a policy of decentralization and completes a four lane connection between PG and Quesnel at a minimum.

    The Tech Industry produces some jobs, but nowhere near what the advancement of technology itself displaces. Besides that, Weaver should realise that a ‘green economy’ and ‘full employment’ are incompatible in the modern world. If he wanted to turn the clock back to an pre-Industrial Revolution era where “all craft was handicraft” and no modern methods of manufacturing anything was allowed, then, sure, you could employ everyone. You’d have to, or actual scarcity of virtually everything would ensue. But in the modern world? Where our greater problem is ‘glut’, not scarcity? Not hardly. If we were sensible and serious about being ‘green’ and environmentally sustainable we’d be trying to UNemploy more people not employ them. If the only justification for paying anyone an ‘income’ is making them work for it, then we’d better give anyone not employed a pick and shovel and a piece of bare earth. And tell them to dig a hole on it, and then fill it in again. Endlessly. That would be way more ‘green’ than using up resources making stuff that can’t ever be sold unless we make still more again. Endlessly.

Still waiting?

contractor–have to agree with you. Wasting tax dollars to fight something like this seems to be a priority with this government. Is it pay back time for Jimmy?

BH- post time 3:25

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