Alberta appeals ruling that says its beer tax violates trade rules

Alberta is challenging a ruling that found its incentive program on beer sales violates interprovincial free-trade obligations.

Finance Minister Joe Ceci says he's proud of the small brewers incentive program

The province will argue its small brewers development program meets required trade obligations. (marathonmouth)

Alberta is challenging a ruling that found its incentive program on beer sales violates interprovincial free-trade obligations.

Finance Minister Joe Ceci says the government is appealing last month's decision by a national internal trade panel.

Ceci says the province will argue that its small brewers development program meets required trade obligations.

He says in a statement that Alberta runs the most open liquor market in Canada and 18 new breweries have opened since incentives began a year ago.

The trade panel, in a 2-1 decision, ruled that rebates given only to Alberta brewers discriminate against out-of-province beers sold in the province.

The action was filed by Calgary-based Artisan Ales, which imports beer and says the government's program has had a devastating effect on sales.