The Alberta NDP have changed how they’ll tax beer producers for the second time in eight months claiming in a news release all will be taxed the same at $1.25 per litre regardless of where production originates.
But they’ve also promised a grant to Alberta breweries to make up for the cost of the tax increase.
The NDP scheme from October 2015 saw gradual tax increases for breweries outside Alberta, BC and Saskatchewan, provinces covered by the New West Partnership deal. Beer from outside is considered an import which may violate Section 121 of the Constitution requiring free trade between all provinces.
Ontario based brewer Steam Whistle filed a legal challenge and were granted an injunction. The case was to start next week but now the NDP have rushed to change the rules to avoid the court battle.
Watch my video as I explain why I think the NDP have just opened a new can of worms and with their attempt to put out one fire, they’ve just started another.
The NDP traded one form of protectionism for another. Businesses and consumers will suffer as outside breweries pass increases on to distributors who will pass costs to us and if BC and Saskatchewan breweries don’t get the same grant, this violates an important trade deal that damages interprovincial relationships.