Soon a tax on sugary drinks

News 20 March, 2018
  • File Photo, Jean-François Desgagnés
    Between 2010-2011 and 2015-2016, energy drinks have seen sales grow in grocery stores in Quebec.

    Pierre Couture

    Tuesday, 20 march, 2018 00:00

    Tuesday, 20 march, 2018 00:00

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    The government Couillard opens the door to the imposition of a new tax on sugary drinks in Quebec. A committee will focus specifically on this measure, which could raise more than$ 80 Million per year into the coffers of the State, learned The Newspaper.

    A committee of the ministry of Health and social Services now has the mandate to study options and deliver within the next year recommendations to introduce a new tax on sugary drinks.

    “The recommendations of the experts on this subject will, inter alia, to consider mitigation “, said yesterday a spokesman of the ministry of Health, Marie-Claude Lacasse.

    This is the first time we found black and white to the intentions of the government Couillard to introduce a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages.

    This measure is found in the cross-departmental action plan of the government Policy of prevention in health.

    According to our information, the introduction of a tax of 10 cents levied per litre of sugar-sweetened beverages would generate annual revenues of more than $ 80 million to the government.

    According to data published last year by the Institut de la statistique du Quebec, 63 % of Quebecers aged 15 to 17 years consume sugary drinks on a ” regular “, that is to say, at least twice per week.

    A non-sense

    The canadian taxpayers Federation (FCC), who is said to have got wind of this measurement recently, it is considered unnecessary the introduction of a new tax on sugary drinks as these products are already taxed at a rate of 15% in Quebec.

    “Quebecers already pay enough taxes to continue to bleed them white “, denounced yesterday the spokesperson of the FCC, Carl Valley.

    According to the latter, a tax on sugary drinks would also be regressive because of its significant impact on low-income households.


    Several large american cities have attempted in recent years to tax sugary drinks.

    Chicago has taken the last year to its tax, only two months after its entry into force. New York has failed in his attempt to ban large sizes of soft drinks.

    By contrast, the cities of Albany, Boulder, Berkeley, Oakland, Philadelphia and San Francisco have managed to introduce since 2014, with success, taxes on sugar-sweetened beverages.

    Evolution of purchases of sugar-sweetened beverages between 2010-2011 and 2015-2016 in a grocery store in Quebec

    -27 % ► regular soft Drinks

    -24 % ► diet soda

    -24 % ► fruit Drinks

    -19 % ► fruit Juice

    +42 % ► flavoured Milk

    +12 % ► energy Drinks

    Source : Institute of public health of Quebec