Home Cases R v. Comeau (Interprovincial free trade)

R v. Comeau (Interprovincial free trade)

By | on Dec 19 2015

From Cases, Past Cases

Do you think it is right to fine a retiree for buying alcohol in another province and bring it back across the border? We sure don’t! The Canadian Constitution Foundation is proud to support Gerard Comeau and his lawyers Ian Blue, Arnold Schwisberg and Mikael Bernard in their constitutional challenge to portions of the New Brunswick Liquor Control Act. The section being challenged prohibits New Brunswick residents from bringing alcohol from another province or country in excess of a 12-pint limit for beer, or two bottles of spirits. What is the purpose of these provisions? To prop up a government-run monopoly that limits consumer choice, damages small business and violates a key component of our constitution (s. 121).

Success in this challenge for Gerard Comeau could mean a lot more than a new era in booze runs. It could mean a new era in Canadian commerce. A broader application of s. 121 would give Canadians a stronger legal bulwark against government meddling in all transactions across provincial boundaries. These prohibition-era policy regimes have no place in the 21st century. Help us fight this case if you care about economic liberty and consumer choice.

April 29, 2016 – We have won this case in NB. Read about it on CBC and read the decision here.

May 4, 2017 – This case is now heading to the Supreme Court! Read the release here.

October 13, 2017 – Mr. Comeau’s factum was filed in the Supreme Court of Canada. Read it here.

April 19, 2018 – The Supreme Court of Canada has released its decision and has upheld New Brunswick’s limitations on bringing alcohol from other provinces. Read CCF Executive Director Howard Anglin’s article on this decision in the Globe and Mail here and read the CCF’s press release here.

For the more frequent news updates on this case and on the issue of interprovincial free trade please follow us at One Country, One Market.

  • CCF Launch: December 22, 2014
  • Legal Jurisdiction: Supreme Court of Canada
  • Next key date: The Supreme Court decision was released on April 19, 2018. Read our release here.

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