Beer, liquor may soon be allowed across provincial borders

Proposed changes announced in the federal throne speech may be the toast of Saskatchewan drinkers, brewers and distillers.

Proposed changes announced in the federal throne speech may be the toast of Saskatchewan drinkers, brewers and distillers.

Ottawa says consumers can soon be able to transport beer and liquor across provincial borders, just like they're supposed to be able to do with wine.

Saskatchewan had been insisting on the change to benefit distillers in particular, as well as brewers. 

Dan Albas, the Conservative MP in British Columbia wine country and author of the original Bill 311, says it's about time Saskatchewan got reciprocity.

"I hope that people from Saskatchewan will enjoy some of our fine wines and take them home with you, or order them through a website or over the phone," says Albas. "And I hope the same goes for people from British Columbia when they visit your fine province." 

Premier Brad Wall told reporters Thursday he sees the logic behind the change, but he still worries about the impact on the provincial treasury of direct-to-consumer sales of products such as B.C. wine.

"We've been working on it trying to make it a little more cost neutral because it is, it's kinda common sense," said Wall. "It's Canadian wineries. People should be able to do this."

Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming is reserving comment.

No date has been set to implement the changes.

With files from the CBC's Sean Prpick

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