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It’s Time to Free the Beer

I find it absurd that in Canada most provinces and territories have protections making it is illegal to buy and sell beer cross-provincially. Our country has some of the best craft beer in the world, yet there are restrictions on who can buy and sell it. I personally think this is unacceptable. I want to open provincial borders so that Canadians across the country can enjoy the best beer each province has to offer.

As you may know, Gerard Comeau was recently charged for purchasing alcohol in Quebec and bringing it across the provincial border into New Brunswick. The Judge presiding over the case found the section of the law which Mr. Comeau was charged under violated section 121 of the Constitution, and found him not guilty.

However, because the Judge in this case was from a lower court and could only nullify the charge against Mr.Comeau, he could not strike down this protectionist anti-trade law. The Government of New Brunswick has since decided to appeal this ruling.

It is unfortunate that microbreweries have to suffer because provinces refuse to open their boarders to consumer choice. At this time, only three of the thirteen Provinces and Territories have started to welcome open borders including direct consumer shipments.

Our Conservative Party believes that the Liberal’s should refer this court case, and section 121 of the Constitution to the Supreme Court of Canada. This will provide constitutional clarity on what kind of barriers, if any, related to the sale of alcohol and other Canadian produced goods are constitutional; and will create a stable national framework for inter-Provincial trade. If the Supreme Court agrees with the Judge in the Comeau case, Canadians vintners, brewers, and distillers will be able to sell to more Canadians without trade barriers, giving them room to grow while helping the Canadian economy.

As the Critic for Interprovincial Trade, I am making it a priority to meet with as many breweries, distilleries and wineries as I can. I want to work together to find ways to #FreeTheBeer!