VICTORIA — Complaints from British Columbia wine industry over interprovincial trade barriers will be heard in the Supreme Court of Canada as part of an appeal of a cross-border beer dispute in New Brunswick.
Vancouver lawyer Shea Coulson said Thursday five B.C. wineries will argue as interveners in the case stemming from a 2012 incident when police fined a man $292.50 after he entered New Brunswick from Quebec with 14 cases of beer and three bottles of liquor.
Gerald Comeau was originally fined under New Brunswick’s Liquor Control Act for bringing in too much alcohol, but a provincial court judge tossed the case, saying it violated free-trade provisions in the constitution.
The New Brunswick government appealed the ruling to the Supreme Court of Canada, claiming the decision threatens to end Canadian federalism as it was originally conceived.
Coulson said the case to be heard in December is the first time any winery has had the opportunity to test the legal barriers over shipping wine made from Canadian grapes across provincial boundaries.
“My client’s perspective is obviously from the perspective of the wine industry and how these interprovincial barriers to them shipping their products into other provinces are an impediment to the growth of the entire sector,” he said.
Coulson said he will argue the provincial barriers threaten the existence of wineries who need to tap into a national distribution network to grow their businesses.
He said no matter what the court decides, the ruling could have a monumental impact on the Canadian liquor industry.
“These types of (interprovincial barrier) provisions exist across Canada,” Coulson said. “So, it’s a template for how all liquor monopolies operate in every province and because it’s a constitutional decision, any decision by the Supreme Court in this case is going to apply across Canada,” said Coulson.
Environment Canada forecasting up to 40 cm of snow on the Coquihalla Highway this weekend
KAMLOOPS — If you were planning on driving the Coquihalla Highway this weekend, you might want to...
READ MORE +
Highway 1 set to reopen following rockslide near Spences Bridge
KAMLOOPS — Drive BC expects the highway will reopen at 6 p.m. tonight. Earlier: Ministry of...
READ MORE +
Change coming to Kamloops RCMP top brass
KAMLOOPS — There are big changes coming to the top brass at the Kamloops RCMP detachment. Supt....
READ MORE +
Join the Discussion
We are happy to provide a forum for commenting and discussion. Please respect and abide by the house rules: Keep it clean, keep it civil, keep it truthful, stay on topic, be responsible, share your knowledge, and please suggest removal of comments that violate these standards. See full commenting rules.