I’ve talked about the Alberta NDP’s unconstitutional beer tax for over a year now and over the course of that year, a lot has happened, none of it good.
In summary, the government has changed the way they tax beer twice and it’s illegal. First, they hiked the price of imports outside the three provinces with a trade agreement between them - Alberta, BC and Saskatchewan - by up to $1.20 per litre.
That change landed the NDP in court after Ontario-based Steam Whistle Brewery claimed it provided an unfair advantage over brewers like themselves outside of that agreement.
Then, to avoid their day in court, the NDP doubled down and made the increase consistent for everyone including Alberta breweries, but offered local brewers a grant to cover the cost of the tax.
That landed them with yet another court case, this time from Saskatchewan-based Great West Brewery, on the basis that Alberta breweries had an advantage over the others within the trade agreement.
And if that’s not enough, there’s also an Agreement on Internal Trade complaint from Calgary importer Artisan Ales which the Canadian Constitution Foundation (CCF) is taking on.
Watch as Derek From of the CCF summarizes the issues, explains why people should be concerned and tells us how we can help.
The government has its hand in choosing what kind of beer you can drink and it’s simply unconstitutional. It’s crazy that not only is this protectionist tax costing beer drinkers, businesses and breweries, but these court cases are also being paid for by you, the taxpayer.
If you want to show your support, the CCF is holding an event at 6pm on March 22nd at Bottlescrew Bill’s where the first beer is on them! Tickets are $40 and are considered a donation so you’ll get a tax receipt as well.