Bill C-311, Okanagan-Coquihalla member of Parliament Dan Albas's first piece of legislation, passed its final vote in the House of Commons with unanimous support Wednesday evening.
The bill changes the Importation of Intoxicating Liquors Act so that private consumers can buy wine from one province and bring it into another. It also creates the possibility of wineries selling their products to out-of-province customers through remote means such as telephone and online ordering.
Albas said in an interview with the News Monday that Parliament has moved with "greased-lightning speed" to pass Bill C-311.
The bill had faced a potential roadblock during debate on its third reading May 29.
"Tuesday night, we had a filibuster from the NDP," said Albas.
However, the Official Opposition later introduced a motion to skip a second hour of debate on Bill C-311 and move directly to a vote.
Albas took that motion as a clear sign that the NDP would lend its support and commended the NDP "for doing the right thing."
"The next step is to work with the Senate to try and get this law on the books by the end of June so Okanagan winemakers can capitalize on the current season," he said after the bill's passage in the House of Commons.
"There is a huge potential for increased wine tourism on account of Canadians now being able to legally take B.C. wine back home for the first time in history."
The bill received its first reading in the Senate Thursday, sponsored by Conservative Sen. Bob Runciman. Its passage in the Senate, all but assured, would be followed by royal assent from the Governor General.
Albas said his efforts on Bill C-311 through Parliament have proven to be an incredible learning experience.
"I can understand why private member's bills rarely get to this point. However, when you refuse to give up and continue to bring common sense to an issue with the full support of the public and the industry, anything is possible."