British Columbia

Bomber Brewing pulls offer of free beer for voters

A Vancouver craft beer brewery is apologizing after realizing its offer of a free beer to voters could be breaking Canada's election rules.

Didn't realize incentive could contravene Canada Election Act

Bomber Brewery says it had only good intentions in offering free beer to voters in the 2015 federal election.

A Vancouver craft beer brewery is apologizing after realizing its offer of a free beer to voters could be breaking Canada's election rules.

Bomber Brewing announced online that it would give one free beer to anyone who showed up at its Vancouver location on October 19 with proof that they had voted. 

Now that offer has been hastily rescinded.

The idea originally came from discussions on how to get youth to vote.

"We're all kind of at an age now where we've seen our decisions maybe not to vote when we were young, speaking for myself personally, are now sort of affecting us more as we're older," said Cam Andrews, a partner with Bomber Brewing. "So I'm really sort of interested in encouraging youth to vote these days."

The Canada Elections Act forbids anyone from offering a bribe to influence an elector to vote.

Andrews says less than 24 hours after making the offer, they realized it could be a problem so contacted a lawyer to make sure.

"I can completely understand not offering an incentive to support any one party or candidate, and that wasn't our intention," he said. "It was just let's get kids out to vote ... I really wish that we could've followed through on what we wanted to do there."

Bomber Brewing is not the only organization to run into this kind of problem.

Others have tried to offer sandwiches, beer, or even marijuana as an incentive to vote.

Andrews says the brewery is hoping to devise another promotion after the election to make up for pulling the offer from its customers.

With files from the CBC's Stephanie Mercier

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