Dear Editor:

Rookie Conservative MP Dan Albas has tabled Private Members Bill C-311 that, if passed, “will create a personal exemption under the Importation of Intoxicating Liquors Act.” Great… Albas wants to liberalize the wine trade. But wait just a second here… why not get rid of all interprovincial trade barriers. Why start, and stop, with wine?

I hope the member for Okanagan-Coquihala doesn’t think the wine industry is worth more to Canadians than, say, the rest of the agricultural sector. Albas’s motion has support from BC Conservative MPs Ron Cannan and Colin Mayes. But one wonders, are these three even aware that it’s easier at present to import meat from the United States than to buy it from a small abattoir in another province?

Here in B.C., the BC Liberal Party destroyed the meat industry through overregulation. Local abattoirs were driven out of business and ranchers have been forced to reduce their herds. Politicians claim this was done for safety, but where’s the evidence that we were unsafe in the first place? And, are we any safer now with 99 per cent of our meat coming from huge industrial facilities in Alberta and the United States? Massive meat recalls resulting from E. coli and listeriosis indicate quite the opposite. And meat prices are through the roof because, guess what? There’s no competition anymore!

Wine might be important on some level to the Canadian economy, but you’d think Albas, Cannan and Mayes might want to do something about the much more fundamental business of filling a family’s shopping cart with safe and affordable groceries.

Mischa Popoff

Author of Is it Organic? The inside story of the organic industry

Osoyoos, BC