The Alberta NDP’s poor decision to change beer markups in the province has resulted in two court challenges, an Agreement on Internal Trade challenge and costly consequences for producers and consumers alike.
In just under a couple of years, markups have been changed a few times.
The NDP’s first increase made waves since it excluded brewers in Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia due to the New West Partnership deal between those provinces.
This sparked a court challenge from Ontario based Steam Whistle brewery who said the exclusion gave an unfair advantage to brewers in the provinces within that trade deal. Steam Whistle was given an injunction so the NDP changed the mark up again to include all provinces, but then gave only Alberta brewers a grant to cover the tax.
This move sparked yet another court challenge from Great West Brewery in Saskatchewan who then noted that Alberta breweries now had an unfair advantage over the others in the NWP deal.
Those court cases will be decided together, but the Agreement on Internal Trade challenge brought by Calgary based importer Artisan Ales was heard on June 1, 2017.
Watch as owner Bo Vitanov updates us on how the hearing went and explains the effects that this unconstitutional tax has had on their import business.
The AIT panel has 45 days to make a decision regarding the Artisan Ales challenge and the two court cases involving Steam Whistle, Great West Brewery and the Alberta government will be decided together later this month.
It looks like there is some progress being made in these challenges and I’ll update you with further details once they’re available.
Please visit www.BeerFreedom.ca to sign and share our petition.