NB judge set to rule on cross-border beer case

Man charged with illegally importing beer from Quebec.

CAMPBELLTON, NB — A New Brunswick judge is expected to rule (April 29) on a case involving 14 cases of beer that could have implications on cross-border trade in Canada.

The case involves Gerard Comeau, who is charged with illegally importing the beer and three bottles of liquor from a Quebec border town in 2012.

The New Brunswick Liquor Control Act prohibits anyone in the province from having more than 12 pints of beer that wasn’t purchased through a liquor store in the province.
Comeau’s liquor was seized and he was fined $292.50.

His lawyers challenged the provincial laws as unconstitutional, arguing the Constitution says anything produced in one province shall be admitted free into the other provinces.

The prosecution told the court when the case was heard that the issue is whether the section of the Constitution Act applies today in a country that has developed significantly since 1867.

Comeau’s lawyer Mikael Bernard says if the court rules in his client’s favour the decision will affect free trade with regards to alcohol and it could also be a benchmark for the other provinces.

© 2016 The Canadian Press

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