Liquor industry hopes new N.S. rules will be matched in other provinces

As Nova Scotia moves to allow for easier flow of alcohol into the province, people in the industry are hoping other provinces will be quick to follow suit.

'I don't think anyone in the industry would want further restriction of trade between provinces'

There's no longer a limit to how much personal alcohol is allowed in to Nova Scotia. (Emma Davie/CBC)

As Nova Scotia moves to allow for easier flow of alcohol into the province, people in the industry are hoping other provinces will be quick to follow suit.

The premier announced on Friday that there is no longer any limit to how much alcohol can be brought into Nova Scotia for personal consumption.

"I think Canadians can't understand the fact that we're out signing international trade deals and yet there's so many barriers inside of Canada," Premier Stephen McNeil said on CBC's The House on Saturday.

Nova Scotia Premier McNeil talks to host Chris Hall about why trading between provinces and territories is so difficult 8:57

Friday's announcement also included steps to reduce trade barriers between Nova Scotia and other provinces around transportation, business registration, technical safety and occupational health and safety.

But while the move to allow more alcohol to enter the province from other places might sound like a bad thing for Nova Scotia producers, some in the industry say that's not the case — including one brewmaster right on the Nova Scotia-New Brunswick border.

Matt Rogers, president of Bishop's Cellar, says he hopes for the sake of Nova Scotia producers that the move is reciprocated by other provinces. (Jeorge Sadi/CBC)

"There is a little bit of fear there," said Joe Potter, owner of Trider's Craft Beer in Amherst, N.S. "There is risk. But no risk, no reward. Someone has to take the first step, but I'm kind of proud of Nova Scotia for doing that and hoping the other provinces will follow suit.

"I don't think anyone in the industry would want further restriction of trade between provinces, so we're very hopeful that it's going to go the other way."

Matt Rogers, president of Bishop's Cellar, a private liquor store on the Halifax waterfront, said the freer flow of alcohol across provincial borders will benefit the entire industry.

Nova Scotia is the only of the Atlantic provinces without a limit to the amount of personal alcohol allowed to be brought in. (Emma Davie/CBC)

"I thought it was a great move for consumers," he said. "Any time that the laws can modernize and change, we're all for that.

"I'm not so concerned for our business, but a concern for our producers is that it's reciprocal."

Rogers said he hopes to see a streamlining of alcohol policy across Canada, too.

"Our local producers are doing really well. They're growing, products are getting better and better everyday and I think their products can stand alongside any in this country."

About the Author

Emma Davie

Reporter

Emma Davie is a reporter, web writer and videojournalist in Halifax. She loves listening to, and telling stories from people in the Maritimes. You can reach her at emma.davie@cbc.ca.