February 14, 2018

How Artisan Ales took on the Alberta government and won (Guest: Bo Vitanov)

Sheila Gunn ReidRebel Host | The Gunn Show


Imagine one day waking up to find that the product you sell has been arbitrarily slapped with a 525% tax hike.

That's exactly what happened October 27th, 2015 when Finance Minister Joe Ceci slapped all microbrewery beer imports into Alberta- except those from Saskatchewan and British Columbia- with a huge tariff.

The government claimed they were trying to help local brewers by imposing a punitive protectionist tax on their competition, but that's just not allowed here in Canada.

We aren't a balkan hodgepodge of angry and adversarial little principalities. We are a confederation that allows the free and easy exchange of goods between provinces.

What ensued was a two-year legal battle against the Alberta government by one small Calgary-based beer importer who hauled them before a trade tribunal and made them admit their poorly thought out tax grab, was a catastrophic mistake.

Joining me tonight to detail her fight for free trade and government accountability is Bo Vitanov from Artisan Ales Consulting.

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commented 2018-03-04 01:10:18 -0500
Unbelievable bullying and vindictiveness from this Government! Interesting in contrast to her speech to Party faithful this weekend about starting all these trade wars with BC and Saskatewan and winning. Actually they lost every one and we the tax payers are paying the price and MSM is completely silent! Bought and paid for journalism, if you can call them that anymore. They could take a lesson from Sheil and the Rebel.Hope Artisan wins the appeal and IS NOT assessed any costs, let Notley wear it like tar sands in her pants all the way to Election Day.
commented 2018-02-15 19:50:21 -0500
Sorry Sheila when it comes to the NDP and Rachelle Nutty , It’s more like David and the Mickey Mouse club .Sorry Mickey no offence . The real people getting hosed is the consumer . It’s about time that government starts paying for their alcohol .
commented 2018-02-15 19:50:12 -0500
Sorry Sheila when it comes to the NDP and Rachelle Nutty , It’s more like David and the Mickey Mouse club .Sorry Mickey no offence . The real people getting hosed is the consumer . It’s about time that government starts paying for their alcohol .
commented 2018-02-15 15:43:46 -0500
The outcome is not unexpected given the heavy handed approach of Notley’s government.
Thanks for the in depth reporting on this Sheila.

Congratulations Artisan Ales!
commented 2018-02-15 14:13:22 -0500
- When your qualifications for being part of the government are based on how much of a political activist you are, you’re going to see this kind of ham handed approach to making law & regulation. We’re seeing it at the provincial & federal level these days. They make the process the punishment & make law that won’t hold up when challenged.
commented 2018-02-15 10:30:36 -0500
Thanks SHEILA , all of the past reports done by you and HOLLY have come full circle.
Who else would report this good news in depth.
Thanks to BO VITANOV and her husband and all the other groups that pulled on the tug of war rope .
I’ve quit the drink , but will buy for my relatives at BO ’S place
commented 2018-02-15 00:29:45 -0500
Yet another case study on how not to develop government policy. First the Alberta NDP tax all beers, the micros complain as demand will shift from their more expensive offerings, so the NDP changes course and taxes only imports. This doesn’t work as Alberta gets sued, so the NDP taxes all beers and issue rebates to Alberta micro brewers.

So how does this boost Alberta’s reputation? I have no idea.

NDP MLA’s brag this will be good for Alberta farmers, and good for brewers. What they don’t say is Albertans will pay more for their brews and have to pay the legal costs Notley and her caucus have attracted.

But how is this good for farmers?

Micro breweries are successful, Olds College is pumping out the brewmasters, there is plenty of investor capital … so the breweries have all the tools to meet market demand … all without government help. All Notley and Co. are doing is giving away taxpayer money to micro brewers under the falsehood that Albertans will drink more beer. They won’t.

It is an economic fact that demand for a product declines as prices increase so there is no surprise that beer sales are down. Also, higher prices causes consumer demand to shift towards cheaper brews. Some because they only have $20 bucks and are forced to abandon the expensive micros, others because it just isn’t worth it. And guess who dominates the lower priced market – right, the foreign multi-nationals. Well done NDP – higher prices for all – another big win for Alberta!

The NDP MLA’s in their collective wisdom are once again screwing Albertans – especially the poor. Remember that next time you buy beer.
commented 2018-02-14 23:16:45 -0500
Rachael Notley never could do a damn thing without wide spread damage.
Its not funny when the government is this corrupt. The Alberta NDP are rotten to the core.
Good for you Bo Vitanov, don’t give up.

Thanks Sheila for highlighting these cases, so the government knows citizens can and will fight back, when they are unjust and try to suppress us.