Supreme Court Hears Why Interprovincial Trade Barriers Should Be Removed

Posted on Thursday, December 7, 2017 12:39 PM

Some members of the Supreme Court appear skeptical of removing interprovincial trade barriers in the so called beer case.

Gerry Comeau of Tracadie was charged with buying cheaper beer in Quebec and bringing it back to New Brunswick. He's challenging the constitutionality of the New Brunswick Liquor Control Act.

Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin questions whether there's the need for the Supreme Court to do anything and what would be the justification.

One of Comeau's lawyers, Ian Blue says he's not arguing for removal of all trade barriers because there are some that are beneficial to the public good. He argues Canada is an economic union and in a previous Supreme Court decision determined the intention of Confederation was to create an economic unit of all the provinces with absolute free trade between its constituent parts.

Blue conceded Comeau wanted to buy cheaper beer in Quebec and elicited laughter when he said people in Ottawa do the same. Blue also told the court he sees mail order wine as a growth industry.