Bieber and Dion to get phenomenal gifts from Scotland
Scots Euro MP Alyn Smith has welcomed clarification from the Canadian government that Irn Bru – Scotland’s other national drink – will be allowed to continue on sale in the Commonwealth country.
The row erupted last week after one shopkeeper in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan had products which were being imported from Scotland confiscated. The reason originally given was that Irn Bru contained an additive which was not approved for sale in Canada, despite being deemed safe for the Scottish and European market.
The MEP had jokingly claimed that a return ban on Canada’s Justin Bieber and Celine Dion may be implemented after the two had ‘produced more sugary schmaltz than Irn Bru ever had’. Now Smith is sending the Canadian celebs a crate of the Cumbernauld company's finest to show that there's no hard feelings.
The row however now appears to be over after the Canadian Food Inspection Agency released a statement, quickly followed up by Canadian Minister for Employment, Social Development & Multiculturalism Jason Kenney confirming in a tweet that Irn Bru could still be imported and sold in Canada.
Commenting, Alyn Smith MEP said:
“I’m glad that this has now been properly cleared up and our original suspicions that this was just a misunderstanding have been proved correct.
“The retailer who had his stock confiscated had been selling Irn Bru without a problem since 1997 and it came as quite a shock when he was told that he could do so no longer. It appears now that the Canadian authorities had acted on the basis that other items in the shipment did not have the proper documentation, which resulted in the entire shipment being confiscated.
“The CFIA has now released a statement saying that they will work with the retailer to ensure that this does not happen again and confirmed that Irn Bru will continue to be available in Canada.
“This is a victory for common-sense and I’m glad that the CFIA and Canadian Government has clarified this issue.
"I jokingly remarked that we could consider a ban on Justin Bieber and Celine Dion in retaliation. To show there's no hard feelings and they are welcome to Scotland any time, I've sent them both a crate of Irn Bru to enjoy - with all the correct paperwork of course.
“Scotland and Canada have strong cultural and historical links, I myself have always felt very at home there and I’m sure next time I visit that feeling will be even stronger knowing I can still pick up our other national drink.”
Briana Pegado, President of the North American Society at the University of Edinburgh also welcomed the clarification:
"The link between Scotland and North America has always been strong and I'm glad this latest misunderstanding over Irn Bru has been smoothed over.
"Every year thousands of Americans and Canadians come to Scotland for business, education and tourism, many of them returning home with a new found love of Irn Bru. It's great to know that we'll still be able to indulge in a little bit of Scotland when we're back across the pond."