Canadian Manufacturing

Judge rejects fast-track appeal in cross-border beer battle

N.B. government lawyers had sought leave to appeal the April provincial court ruling that effectively threw out limits on cross-border alcohol imports



FREDERICTON—There will be no fast-track appeal in a cross-border beer battle that has national implications for interprovincial trade.

New Brunswick government lawyers had sought leave to appeal the April provincial court ruling that effectively threw out limits on cross-border alcohol imports.

They had hoped to skip the usual appeal route—Court of Queen’s Bench—and go directly to the New Brunswick Court of Appeal.

Defence lawyer Ian Blue consented, saying the case has broad public importance and would likely end up in the Court of Appeal anyway.

But Justice Margaret Larlee of the Court of Appeal dismissed the application Thursday without explanation.

In April, provincial court Judge Ronald LeBlanc acquitted New Brunswicker Gerard Comeau on charges of illegally importing 14 cases of beer and three bottles of liquor from a Quebec border town in October 2012.

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