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Neanderthals and the governments of Manitoba.

So where is the link you might say? Read on! This blog is both a rant and a peek into recent Manitoba History.

We in Manitoba are sometimes slow to catch up, regardless of which party is in power. We were among the last to allow women to enter a hotel "for men". It took Duff Roblin (Cons) to end this. And in 1978, I was asked by a group of parents to review the proposed amendments to the Public School Act. Fine but that entails reading the whole act, 100's of sections and subsections, and then compare with the proposed amendments.

There were quite a few "miscues" among the proposals. The most striking was the subsection on the duty of school districts to ensure a supply of hay for the horses who took the kids to school! This is 1978 folks! The sound of index fingers flipping through the School Act at the hearing where I reported this was almost deafening. The press at the back burst out laughing.

Now to the point. In 1989 I visited a brew on premise (now U-Brew) in Victoria B.C for the first time. This is an establishment where a customer purchases a wine or beer kit and the operator takes care fo the fermentation, transferring, filtration etc. also, a sterilizing and cleaning machine plus the supply of bottles labels and corks are all available.

This service is now available everywhere in Canada (including Whitehorse, Yellowknife, Kenora…) but not Manitoba or Alberta. Since 1989, I have tried to bring U-Brews to Manitoba. The issue has been thoroughly ignored by a procession of governments of both stripes, despite efforts made to work with them to create proper regulations. Getting ignored has been worse than an honest "no".

Does one have to defy or break a law (there isn't one addressing U-Brews) to get any attention? The operators in Nova Scotia and Quebec did. Threatened with court action by their respective liquor boards, the operators got together and pooled for a legal defense fund. "Go for it" they said. The press got wind of this and MLA's got an ear full from the public. The liquor boards backed off knowing that the precedents had been set in too many jurisdictions.

When we opened 30 years ago, our 35-40 year old customers could handle lifting 23L of wine in a carboy (~65 lbs). But now, they still weigh 65 lbs but feel like 165.

Is it too much to ask to be able to offer this service???