Today’s Montreal Economic Institute (MEI) poll on wine imports and distribution reveals most Quebecers believe the current system impedes restaurants and their customers. In the poll, 71% of Quebecers believe independent restaurateurs should have the right to import wine and sell it directly to consumers.
“These numbers show a solid majority of people from Quebec recognize the huge hurdles to wine imports, and the negative effect it has on consumer choice and product diversity,” says David Lefebvre, Restaurants Canada’s Vice-President Federal and Quebec.
Currently, direct imports from producers are sometimes allowed, but the taxes, levies and paperwork required make it almost impossible to do so efficiently.
“Our members want to be able to offer a better variety of products, and make them affordable for their customers,” says Lefebvre. “To allow operators to import some of their own products, without always going through the province’s liquor monopoly, is a step in the right direction.”
Restaurants Canada has long-advocated against trade barriers between provinces, and the MEI poll results supports its stance.
“It’s obvious that all Canadian producers of beer, wine and spirits would greatly benefit from liberalization of the market, and removal of legislative and regulatory hurdles,” says Lefebvre. “Dozens of small- and medium-sized Quebec producers stand to benefit from a new regime, and our members can’t wait to have more of these products on tap.”
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