It's a fact that Canada's liquor laws don't make life easy for someone who likes a little tipple now and then.
Provincial governments remain largely in control of distribution and sales of booze based on rules that date back to the Prohibition era in the early 20th century.
The battle has heated up lately to get rid of the last vestiges of state control. When prohibition was repealed in most provinces in the 1920s, government took control of sales based on the temperance movement's assumption that people couldn't be trusted with unfettered access to liquor.
The likelihood that cash-strapped provinces will get out of the lucrative liquor business is pretty slim, but they at least ought to loosen their grip a little more.
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Latest case in point: The B.C. Liquor Control and Licensing Branch smacks down plans for a Victoria theatre company to auction off donated bottles of wine at a fundraiser.
The reason? The wine wasn't purchased from a government liquor store or sanctioned private outlet, according to the Vancouver Sun.
The Belfry Theatre had to cancel its annual Crush fundraiser after two years of successful auctions under a "special occasion" liquor licence issued by the board, the Sun said.
A government spokesman told the Sun the branch had been unaware that past auctions involved donated wine.
"When we became aware of this situation, we advised the licensee that their event would not be eligible for a special-occasion licence," said the spokesman, who asked not to be named.
He said the regulations help ensure taxes are paid, as well as controlling authenticity and quality.
Rich Coleman, the minister responsible for the liquor branch, was unavailable for comment but his ministry issued a statement late Wednesday.
"We are moving quickly to find interim measures to deal with these types of situations, and we have asked legal counsel to investigate options," the statement said, according to CBC News.
Lawyer Mark Hicken, who specializes in liquor laws, called on Coleman to act quickly because the new interpretation of the rule could cost charities hundreds of thousands of dollars.
"I think the minister should act very quickly and fix this because this is an issue that's going to cause serious funding problems for charities," Hicken told CBC News.
"At most it requires a change in a regulation. It doesn't require any legislative change. It's not difficult to change a regulation. You can do that by a ministerial order or an order in council."
British Columbia's been a liquor-law battleground.
Earlier this year after a lengthy fight, the liquor branch gave movie and live-event theatres the right to apply for licences to serve alcohol during film screenings.
[ Related: Alcohol coming to a B.C. theatre near you ]
"These changes give movie theatres and live-event theatres much more flexibility to operate while allowing adults to responsibly enjoy a drink while watching a movie," Coleman said at the time, according to CBC News.
"These changes strike an appropriate balance between allowing liquor service at theatres and limiting minors' access to alcohol."
Last May, radio personality and oenophile (fancy term for wine geek) Terry David Mulligan declared he was going to get himself arrested by walking across the border to Alberta with a case of wine. He wanted to protest a 1928 federal law forbidding inter-provincial transportation of booze by ordinary Canadians except via provincial liquor boards.
The Globe and Mail noted the law was passed to entrench provincial monopolies on liquor sales.
Mulligan wasn't arrested when he took nine bottles of wine and one bottle of B.C. beer across the border, despite tipping the RCMP in advance he was coming, Postmedia News reported.