Supreme Court will hear case on interprovincial alcohol purchases

High court to hear border-beer case

OTTAWA — The Supreme Court of Canada has agreed to hear a Crown appeal of a New Brunswick ruling that overturned a ban on bringing alcohol across provincial boundaries.

A provincial court judge last year threw out all charges against a man who was ticketed for importing 14 cases of beer and three bottles of liquor from a Quebec border town.

In an 88-page decision, Judge Ronald LeBlanc said the original framers of the Constitution never intended that laws should blatantly block the free flow of goods within their new country.

The New Brunswick Liquor Control Act prohibits anyone in the province from having more than 12 pints of beer not purchased through a liquor store in the province, a prohibition the judge called unconstitutional.

The New Brunswick Court of Appeal declined to hear the Crown’s appeal.

As usual, the Supreme Court gave no reasons for its decision to hear the case.

 

The Canadian Press