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New Brunswick man's fight to 'free the beer' lands in Supreme Court

New Brunswick man's fight to 'free the beer' lands in Supreme Court
From Global News - December 7, 2017

A New Brunswick mans fight for the right to buy beer wherever he wants is now in the hands of Canadas top court.

Gerard Comeau drives from Tracadie, NB, across the Quebec border a few times a year to load up on cheaper booze. During a 2012 trip when he was hauling 354 bottles of beer and 3 of liquor, he was nabbed by the RCMP, on the lookout for cross-border beer buyers like him.

WATCH: Free the beer!: MP calls on government to allow alcohol to travel across provincial borders

Im a Canadian citizen. I got a right to go shop wherever I want in this country, Comeau said.

Rather than pay his $292.50 fine, Comeau fought it in courtarguing the ticket was unconstitutional.

Section 121 of the Constitution, which was part of the original British North American Act back in 1867, says All articles of the Growth, Produce or Manufacture of any one of the Provinces shall, from and after the Union, be admitted free into each of the other provinces.

WATCH: N.B. cross boarder alcohol case heads back to court


In reality, our provincial borders are stacked with trade barriers. In court this week, lawyers for provinces nationwide argued they should stay in place, worried about a loss of revenue and control.

The decision would significantly undercut provincial and federal powers, argued Francois Joyal, a lawyer for the Attorney General of Canada.

I understand the province is going to create revenue, said Comeau. They were given the right to do that by the federal government. But they werent given the right to take away my right to shop wherever I want, if the price is cheaper.

READ MORE: New Brunswick court ruling on cross-border beer imports boosts sales in Quebec

Its like bank robbers saying, Your Honour, its true I robbed the bank but I really needed the money, said Brian Lee Crowley, managing director of the Macdonald-Laurier Institute. If the

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