As Canadians prepare for a 2020 holiday season unlike any other, we are all feeling the collective impacts of travel restrictions.
For some, this may be the first Christmas spent somewhere that is not your usual destination with your friends and family.
With so many different travel restrictions, many have turned to Canada Post or other couriers, not just to acquire goods, but also to send gifts to loved ones who are unable to come home.
For those of you in B.C. who may have attempted to ship a bottle of our amazing Okanagan wine or your favourite local craft beer or an artisan distilled spirit to friends or family in another province through Canada Post, you likely discovered your shipment was refused.
With so many restaurants running at reduced capacities and travel restrictions resulting in less local winery visits and sales, one of our key local industries, like many others, has been significantly impacted by this pandemic.
Unlike some other industries who can take advantage of online sales to the rest of Canada, our local producers of wine, craft beers and spirits are shut out of major provinces, such as Quebec and Ontario solely because of provincial liquor monopolies and their restrictive policies.
For this reason, before Parliament adjourned, I introduced my latest private members, Bill C-260.
This bill, often referred to as the "Buy, Ship & Sip bill" would amend the Canada Post Act so that Canada Post can bypass these repressive provincial monopolies.
Strong support from consumers as well as industry has been received thus far, but it is unclear if the government and other opposition parties will support the bill.
I will provide a further update on this once Parliament resumes.
Before I close this week's report, I would like to sincerely wish everyone a Merry Christmas and joyous holiday season.
Particularly I would like to thank all front-line workers and also those in working in healthcare and seniors’ homes.
For all of our essential service workers this holiday season will mean considerable time away from their families serving the public.
My question this week:
How will you spend this holiday season differently from years past?
I can be reached at Dan.Albas@parl.gc.ca or call toll free 1-800-665-8711.
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Dan Albas is the Member of Parliament for the riding of Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola.