NDP leader jumps on the outdated liquor act band wagon

Adrian Dix says he wants to be the politician to finally get some traction on interprovincial liquor restrictions.

  • Jul. 28, 2011 5:00 p.m.

Adrian Dix says he wants to be the politician to finally get some traction on interprovincial liquor restrictions.

The new NDP leader visited the Okanagan on Wednesday to pump up the anti-HST campaign in the last week of the referendum, but also took time to lend his voice to the fight to change the Importation of Intoxicating Liquors Act. “I don’t think it’s made a lot of sense for someone to come down from Calgary and do a wine tour and not be able to take any wine home with them,” said Dix, who knows he’s not the first to trumpet the cause.

Earlier this year, federal Conservative MP Ron Cannan presented a private member’s motion to update the legislation which prohibits alcohol from crossing provincial boarders unless it’s received by a provincial liquor board.

Enacted in 1928, the Intoxicating Liquors Act is seen as out-dated by virtually every party and every level of politician in B.C., although it has been defended in Ontario.

With B.C.’s political voice largely united on this issue, Dix says he’s tired of the lack of attention the issue has seen.

“We don’t want to be sitting here in 2012 with everyone who appears to be in favour of a change, but nothing is happening.”

Lifting the restriction would not only mean wine tourists could take alcohol home legally, but also order the product online.

The issue is just one of a few hot-button issues the NDP are targeting in hopes of generating new votes in the Interior, where provincial Liberals and federal Conservatives have traditionally held a near stranglehold on election season.

“The absence of competition in politics has hurt people over time,” said Dix. “I think people have been taken for granted.”

In addition to the wine issue, he pointed to drastic problems in the tree fruit industry as evidence the Liberals have not given due attention to Okanagan issues.

In the final days of the NDP leadership race, Dix presented a $6-million plan for the tree fruit industry, which would see government leverage the purchasing power of health authorities to boost local growers and farmers.

 

jsmith@kelownacapnews.com

 

 

Kelowna Capital News