One Saskatchewan brewer is seeing his business affected by not just one, but two recent trade disputes.
Alberta is appealing a recent Court of Queen’s Bench ruling surrounding its markups and rebate policy.
The judge found it to be unconstitutional to impose markups on out of province beers. A trade panel also ruled the province had violated inter-provincial trade rules back in June.
Rebellion Brewing President Mark Heise said they used to have Alberta companies calling and showing up to stock up on their beer.
“Once they put those rules in, those phone calls stopped,” Heise said.
He said he believes governments should be doing all they can to help grow and support a local industry, but said getting involved in trade wars doesn’t help people get ahead.
“We do think that there’s a role for government to play in helping grow local industry, but at the same time you can’t keep beating your head against the wall on things that have repeatedly been said that are now allowable under Canadian trade rules.”
Heise did note that it’s not just Alberta who has a trade barrier on liquor, but other provinces have their own forms as well.
He said since the issue came to light, there has been a push for the premiers across Canada to figure things out when it comes to liquor trade barriers.
“It’s not good for breweries and it’s not good for consumers,” Heise said.
He said the many different handcuffs facing brewers stop people across the country from enjoying all the great products Canada has to offer.
“We’re still feeling the effects of the failed prohibition efforts of the 1920s and I think it’s time to move beyond the 1920s.”
It’s also not only trade barriers within Canada that are beginning to affect his business.
Heise was told by one of his suppliers it’s going to cost them an extra 10 cents per can for their next shipment due to aluminium tariffs.
“At the end of the day, it’s another form of government getting their hands into the pie and claiming they want a piece of it.”
The company also got slapped with a tariff when they were importing fruit from the U.S. into Canada.