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Governmental Wine Regulation Hurts Canadian Charities

I enjoy discovering and writing about charity events especially those that may be hosted by wineries or perhaps wine auctions where the proceeds go to a charity or nonprofit organization.

Too many government entities want to control the wine industry with such a heavy hand that they make it almost impossible for wine enthusiasts and wineries to help others. The majority of winery owners are wonderful people who want to help others whether it is to loan a piece of winery equipment or to help a winery that is going through tough times. (For specific examples, you can read a chapter of A Wine Journey, where we write about some of these extraordinary stories.)

More to the point I was shocked to read that in Canada, a wine auction to support Belfry Theatre has been stopped because a change was made this summer to a document. Crush is a fundraising event that has been held in previous years to provide funds for the theatre. Now the LCLB refuses to allow wine to be auctioned if it has not been purchased through the LCLB. The 2012 auction was to have occurred October 28 and has now been cancelled since many of the bottles to be auctioned had been privately donated. According to a news release from Belfry Theatre, General Manager Mr. Habel said,

“The legislation that restricts this type of donation is out of touch with current practice. It (the legislation) demonstrates a lack of understanding of the realities of the needs of non-profits, small and large charities throughout the province. We have polled other charities and this will have an enormous impact. Action is required by the government to bring into line legislation and enforcement, with the needs of charities across the province.”

Giving to worthy charities should be encouraged. Governments need to understand the wine industry rather than judging it with taxation and prohibition stances. What laws in your region are detrimental to charities?

If you know of wineries and wine events that focus on helping a charity or nonprofit, please email me at kathy (at) winetrailtraveler.com.

Cheers! Kathy

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