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

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Sept. 27 to Oct. 3

World Farm Animals Day, Drink Beer Day and Virus Appreciation Day are all coming up this week

Paul Manly reacts to Liberal throne speech

Manly says the Liberals need to back up their promises with action

Island Savings closes Ladysmith branch

Ladysmith branch members can be served by the Chemainus branch

Yellow Point Drama Group puts on socially distanced production of Grace & Glorie

There will be seven performances: three evening shows, and four matinees

Nanaimo-Ladysmith school trustees receive assignments for year

School trustees appointed to Nanaimo-Ladysmith-area schools

B.C. records 98 more COVID-19 cases, most in Lower Mainland

One new senior home outbreak, Surrey Memorial outbreak over

Vancouver Island Tour de Rock riders roll into Parksville Qualicum Beach

Saturday’s schedule includes Port Alberni, Ucluelet and Tofino, followed by Nanaimo on Sunday

PHOTOS: 2nd calf in a month confirmed among Southern Resident killer whale pod

Center for Whale Research said they will eagerly await to observe the calf to evaluate its health

97 distressed horses, cats and dogs seized from farm in Princeton

RCMP assisted as BC SPCA executed search warrant

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

$250K reward offered as investigation continues into Sea to Sky Gondola vandalism

Police also asking for specific footage of Sea to Sky highway around time of incident

Trudeau ‘disappointed’ by RCMP treatment of Sikh officers over mask issue

World Sikh Organization of Canada said taking Sikh officers off the front lines constitutes discrimination

Liberals reach deal with NDP on COVID-19 aid bill, likely averting election

NDP and the Liberals have reached an agreement on COVID-19 sick-leave

Most Read