Steam Whistle Granted Injunction Against Alberta Beer Tax Increase

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CALGARY, ABThe Calgary Herald reports that Ontario’s Steam Whistle Brewing has been granted an injunction against an increased tax on beer from outside of the New West Partnership region (British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan) that was implemented with little notice last October by Alberta’s government.

According to the ruling by Justice Earl Wilson of the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench, Steam Whistle will not be required to pay the tax “temporarily”, presumably pending a more general legal decision on the validity of the increase.

The tax has already forced Ontario’s Muskoka Brewery to withdraw from the Alberta market, and it has received wide criticism as being overly protectionist, with legal experts questioning whether it would hold up to a constitutional challenge.

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