The canadian federation has been shaken by the purchase of a case of beer?

News 6 December, 2017
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    Boris Proulx

    Wednesday, 6 December 2017 11:21

    Wednesday, 6 December 2017 11:21

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    OTTAWA | provinces fear that the supreme Court gives reason to a New brunswicker who was arrested for having bought his beer in Quebec, a decision that could “redefine the nature of canadian federalism” according to them.

    “[Such a judgment] could undermine the ability of Quebec to legislate as it wishes in relation to alcohol, ” argued Wednesday, the attorney of the government of Québec, Jean-Vincent Lacroix, in front of the 9 judges of the supreme Court of Canada.

    He is concerned that the country’s highest court confirmed the judgments of lower courts that have given reason for Gerard Comeau, a citizen of New Brunswick who has crossed the border into quebec to buy the equivalent of a dozen crates of 24 beers, and three bottles of strong alcohol in 2012.

    The police had applied a provincial law that limits the amount of alcohol that it is possible to buy out of the province.

    A law unconstitutional, ruled a first tribunal, since section 121 of the canadian constitution guaranteeing free trade between the provinces. In its exact wording, article 121 prohibits the imposition of taxes or other customs duties.

    New Brunswick has warned the supreme Court that give reason to this judgment “would reframe the nature of canadian federalism as it exists in this moment” by rattling the provincial power to control this trade.

    Quebec has gone a step further, and argues that this vision of free trade between the provinces, ” goes against the architecture of the constitution and of the canadian federation. “

    The province wants the Court does not call into question its power to establish commercial monopolies, such as the SAQ for alcohol, but also to that of other products, such as maple syrup.

    The judges hear Wednesday and Thursday, the arguments of the federal, all provinces and territories, except Manitoba and the Yukon, and industry representatives.