New Brunswick Cross-Border Alcohol Limits Declared Unconstitutional

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FREDERICTON, NB – In a ruling handed down last Friday afternoon, New Brunswick provincial court Judge Ronald LeBlanc struck down the province’s tight limits on bringing alcohol from other jurisdictions in Canada for personal consumption, declaring the law to be unconstitutional.

LeBlanc’s decision was made in a case against Gérard Comeau, a man who was charged in 2013 of breaking the New Brunswick Liquor Control Act when RCMP officers stopped him from bringing 14 cases of beer and three bottles of liquor into the province from Quebec, where many alcoholic products are cheaper.

The judge dismissed the charges against Comeau, indicating that the law used to charge him was in violation of Section 121 of the Constitution of Canada, which states: “All articles of the growth, produce or manufacture of any of the provinces shall, from and after the Union, be admitted free into each of the other provinces.”

The provincial government and NB Liquor have yet to comment on the ruling, although an appeal by the Crown is possible.

For more details, see the CBC News report on the ruling.

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