Conservative MP pitches plan to allow alcohol sales across Canada by mail

A Conservative backbencher is looking to open the floodgates on cross-country booze shipments through new legislation that would offer a workaround to interprovincial trade barriers.

MP Dan Albas tabled a private member’s bill Tuesday that would allow Canada Post to offer direct-to-consumer sales of out-of-province beer, wine and hard liquor from coast to coast to coast.

The plan, which Albas calls “buy, ship and sip,” would bypass provincial restrictions to offer beer buffs and wine connoisseurs more choice and unlock new markets for producers, particularly smaller operations.

The MP for Central Okanagan–Similkameen–Nicola in B.C. said provincially owned alcohol distributors such as Ontario’s LCBO amount to monopolies that choke off variety, leaving Canadians with more access to U.S. and European products than to those bottled in their own backyards.

Albas said the bill makes sense in a digital age when customers increasingly are shopping online.

Currently, just four provinces allow direct-to-consumer sales into their jurisdictions: Nova Scotia, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and British Columbia.

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