Outlaw Terry David Mulligan plans illegal road trip
Published Monday, April 25, 2011 8:18PM PDT
Iconic B.C. broadcaster Terry David Mulligan is uncorking a minor rebellion and testing legal limits with a cross-border road trip flouting a Prohibition-era law.
Mulligan produces radio shows about the wine industry from his home near Penticton, and no issue gets him going like the little-known law that forbids transporting wine between provinces without first consigning it with the destination province's liquor authority.
"I have been seething about this for two years thinking, this is just wrong," he told CTV News.
Now he's packing up his van with vintages from B.C.'s wine country for an illegal cross-border protest trip to Alberta that could get him in trouble with police.
"I'm prepared for that, and some of my best friends have said, ‘We'll visit you in jail,'" Mulligan said.
He'll take his chances with the law a second time on the return trip by toting Ontario wines back to B.C. The fine for a first-time offence is a maximum of $200; a second transgression is punishable by up to $1,000 in fines.
The Importation of Intoxicating Liquors Act dates back to 1928, and since then, provinces have clung to their monopoly on imports and tax revenues.
Small wineries in the Okanagan have almost given up hope that they'll ever be able to sell to out-of-province customers.
"They spend a lot of money to come to the wine area here in B.C., and we can't ship small amounts of wine to them to take home as a souvenir of their visit. It's archaic," said Bob Ferguson of Kettle Valley Winery.
"We've tried to bring it to the attention of politicians, but nothing has happened."
Incumbent Conservative candidate Ron Cannan introduced a private member's motion six months ago aimed at changing the law. It fizzled, but he's vowing to try it again.
"[I want to] get the provincial partners to see the logic of bringing this archaic piece of legislation into the 21st century," he said.
Mulligan's cross-border revolt begins on May 13.
With a report from CTV British Columbia's Kent Molgat