The Alberta budget is being announced next Thursday and businesses owners and consumers are waiting to see if the NDP will roll back its unconstitutional beer tax.
An injunction was granted to Steam Whistle recently regarding the tax that was implemented in October of 2015, that saw taxes increase up to $1.05 per litre for importers and brewers outside of British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan wanting to sell their product in the province.
I talked to Derek From at the Canadian Constitution Foundation, who has been following up on the Steam Whistle case, in which the argument is built on Section 121 of the Constitution and in particular, the Gold Seal decision from 1921. We also talked about some of the repercussions that the Alberta NDP would face if the tax isn’t rolled back and From also mentioned that he sent Finance Minister Joe Ceci a letter that went unanswered.
Steam Whistle was the first brewer to challenge the new taxes in court, but now the Ontario Craft Brewers have planned to file a class action law suit which might prompt more brewers and importers to back these challenges.
For now, producers and importers, along with small business owners and consumers are hoping to see this decision axed in the budget announcement next week.