Islanders will be able to bring as much booze as they want to P.E.I. from other provinces

The P.E.I. government is removing personal exemption limits for alcohol, it said today in a written release.

The change will be made during the spring sitting of the legislature

Limits on transporting liquor for personal use to P.E.I. were in place to support buying local. (Enigma Wines)

The P.E.I. government is removing personal exemption limits for alcohol, it said today. 

This will allow people to transport any amount of alcohol into P.E.I. for personal use.

The government plans to make the legislative changes during the spring sitting of the legislature.

"We're looking at people who are leaving by vehicle or by plane, you want to make sure there are no impediments there, if they want to take home some craft beer or wine from Prince Edward Island," said Finance Minister Heath MacDonald. 

Right now, personal exemption limits are nine litres of wine, three litres of spirits and 24.6 litres of beer (three cases of 24).

The limits were in place to encourage residents to shop in their own provinces, thus paying taxes and contributing to provincial revenues at home. 

But there's a flip side to that argument, MacDonald said.

"If you take places like Upstreet or P.E.I. Brewing Company, I think they'll vouch that this could open some more doors for them and allow their products to free flow from one province to the next and maybe create some new markets," he said.

Under P.E.I.'s Liquor Control Act, the fine for a first offence is $500 to $1,250 and up to a $2,500 fine for subsequent offences. 

The decision was made by a committee formed during the Council of the Federation meeting among Canadian premiers and territorial leaders. At the conclusion of meetings last summer, the provinces agreed to at least double personal exemption limits within 18 months. 

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