Could the former host of Good Rockin' Tonite and Much West be heading to the slammer? And why the heck would a wine columnist write about it?
Well, in addition to being a Canadian TV icon, Mulligan now co-hosts a wine-related TV show called Hollywood and Vines with former Beverley Hills 90210 star Jason Priestly, as well as The Tasting Room, a radio show about wine based out of B.C.'s Okanagan Valley.
Mulligan plans to challenge an 80+ year-old Importation of Intoxicating Liquors Act that regulates the inter-provincial movement of wine, beer and spirits. As the act stands, it's illegal to transport wine, beer or spirits between provinces (good to keep in mind if you have a cottage at Lake of the Woods, I suppose). Kelowna-Lake County MP Ron Cannan had tabled a motion to amend the act so that Canadian wineries could ship directly to consumers but that amendment died when the federal election was called. For more, see the piece I wrote back in December.
On May 13, Mulligan will begin his road trip with a van loaded up with B.C. wine, which he'll drive over the B.C.-Alberta border as a symbolic protest of the Importation of Intoxicating Liquors Act's current restrictions on inter-provincial shipping (he'll also be bringing some Ontario wine back to B.C. later in his journey). By publicizing where and when he's crossing borders, Mulligan is openly testing how stringently the law will be enforced.
So will he end up in jail? Highly unlikely, although he may end up with a lighter wallet — the fine for first-time offenders is up to $200, and up to $1,000 for a subsequent offense. Mulligan shouldn't have any trouble paying fines - he's got the support of many Canadian wineries as well as Free My Grapes, a website run by the Alliance of Canadian Wine Consumers.
What do you think — should Canadian wineries be allowed to ship directly to consumers across the country? Should TDM do hard time?