PEI

Direct-to-home liquor sales impact uncertain

The P.E.I. government isn't prepared to talk about how its bottom line might be hurt if Islanders could order alcohol directly to their homes from other provinces.

Interprovincial alcohol sales on premiers' agenda

Prince Edward Islanders cannot currently order directly from wineries and other alcoholic beverage makers in other parts of Canada. (CBC)

The P.E.I. government isn't prepared to talk about how its bottom line might be hurt if Islanders could order alcohol directly to their homes from other provinces.

Canada's premiers agreed, at recent meetings in Charlottetown, that the free flow of goods across the country would help build stronger economies.

One of the top items on the agenda is alcoholic beverages. British Columbia and Saskatchewan announced direct-to-home alcohol sales will be allowed, probably by June 2015, in those two provinces.

CBC News asked the P.E.I. Liquor Control Commission how much it could potentially lose if it was no longer involved, and the answer came back in an email from the premier's office.

"This is not something P.E.I. currently offers and therefore the province cannot discuss any impact," said the email.

The premier's office pointed out Islanders can already order alcoholic beverages from outside P.E.I. through the PEILCC.

British Columbia is working to sign a deal with Ontario, but Ontario wants more time to study the matter. Reports say the Liquor Control Board of Ontario is worried about lost revenues.

As the rules stand, when an Islander makes an order through the PEILCC, the commission gets to mark up the price and take a cut. That wouldn't be the case if direct-to-consumer sales were allowed, and collecting provincial tax would be harder as well.

For mobile device users: Should P.E.I. allow direct-to-home liquor sales from makers in other provinces?

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