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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Haida Gwaii restaurant owner joins #OneTable campaign, calls for government support

Chef-owner of Blacktail says loans not enough for restaurants impacted by COVID-19

Second Haida Nation webinar centres on mental health, well-being amid COVID-19

Haida Gwaii Talks Coronavirus guests led live exercises, shared free advice, apps and more

UPDATE: First presumptive case of COVID-19 in Prince Rupert

Doctor says it was a visitor, Northern Health won’t confirm

What’s your housing story? Port Clements needs assessment is underway

Survey of current residents, landlords, future residents runs until April 15

Port Clements applies for Community Trails and Recreation Program Grant

New hope for community trail projects impacted by reallocation of Rural Dividend money

UPDATE: Canadians awake to extra COVID-19 emergency benefit money, feds clarify changes

The CRA and federal officials are working to clarify the confusion around payments

B.C. sorting medical equipment sales, donation offers for COVID-19

Supply hub has call out for masks, gowns, coronavirus swabs

B.C. records five more deaths due to COVID-19, 45 new cases

A total of 838 people have recovered from the virus

Major crimes investigating sudden death of North Okanagan child

The 8 year old was flown to Kelowna General Hospital and died hours later

Easter Bunny added to B.C.’s list of essential workers

Premier John Horgan authorizes bunny to spread “eggs-ellent cheer” throughout province

Travellers returning to B.C. must have self-isolation plan or face quarantine: Horgan

Premier John Horgan says forms must be filled out by travellers

More than 400 animals have been adopted amid pandemic: B.C. SPCA

People are taking this time of social distancing to find a loyal companion through the animal welfare group

B.C. secures motel, hotel rooms for COVID-19 shelter space

Community centres, rooms reserved for pandemic self-isolation

Most Read