Alberta appeals ruling that says its beer tax violates trade rules
Finance Minister Joe Ceci says he's proud of the small brewers incentive program
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.
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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.