Canadian Manufacturing

New Brunswick beer battle ruling could be headed to Supreme Court

Province's Public Prosecution Service will seek leave to appeal a provincial border alcohol ruling to the SCOC


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FREDERICTON—New Brunswick’s Public Prosecution Service is hoping to take a cross-border beer battle that could have broad trade implications to the Supreme Court of Canada.

In a statement today, it said it will seek leave to appeal to the high court to throw out a decision over limits on cross-border alcohol imports.

In April, provincial court Judge Ronald LeBlanc tossed out all charges against Gerard Comeau, who was charged with illegally importing 14 cases of beer and three bottles of liquor from a Quebec border town in 2012.

Last month, an appeal court judge dismissed an application by the prosecution service to appeal the trial judge’s decision.

During the trial, court heard that Quebec beer near the border is about half the price charged in New Brunswick, but the Liquor Control Act prohibits anyone in New Brunswick from having more than 12 pints of beer that wasn’t purchased through a liquor store in the province.

At the time, Comeau’s lawyer described the ruling as “groundbreaking,” because it could have the power to shift a host of laws across the country governing everything from selling chickens to how engineers and other professionals work across provincial lines.


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