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Supreme Court agrees to hear from interveners in cross-border booze case

Supreme Court agrees to hear from interveners in cross-border booze case
From CBC - October 13, 2017

The Supreme Court case of a New Brunswickman caught driving home with cheap booze from Quebec will hear arguments from a wide range of businesses, organizations and associations across the country at a hearing later this year.

The country's highest court has granted intervener status to all 12 applicants in the case of Gerard Comeau of Tracadie, who exceeded cross-border alcohol limits by importing 14 cases of beer and three bottles of liquor.

At issueis whetherSection 121 of the Constitution Act prohibits all trade barriersbe they federal orprovincial, tariffs or non-tariff restrictions that make importing and exporting products difficult or costly.

Each of the interveners will be permitted to file written arguments not exceeding 10 pages before Nov. 21 and present oral arguments not exceeding five minutes at the hearing in Ottawa,set for Dec. 5 and 6, the Supreme Court ruled this week.

Comeau, a retired NB Power linesman, was stopped by theRCMPin 2012 and fined $292.50 for violatingthe New Brunswick Liquor Control Act,which sets a personal importation limit of 12 pints ofbeeror one bottle of alcohol or wine.

ButCampbelltonprovincial court Judge RonaldLeBlancruled in April 2016 that the liquor restriction was unconstitutional because Section121 of the 1867 ConstitutionAct says products from any province "shall be admitted free into each of the other provinces."

New Brunswick prosecutors are appealing LeBlanc's decision to the Supreme Court of Canada after the province's highest court refused to review the matter.

Industry seeks freer trade

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