Great Western Brewing Granted Injunction Against Alberta Beer Tax Increase

SASKATOON, Nov. 10, 2016 /CNW/ - The Great Western Brewing Company of Saskatoon has been granted an injunction against the Government of Alberta's new beer mark-up policy.

Effective August 5th, the Alberta government raised the mark-up rate for all brewers (regardless of size) to $1.25/litre. This meant a 166% increase for Great Western. A provincial rebate program was created for beer brewed and sold in Alberta to offset the increased mark-up on small Alberta brewers.  No such rebate program was made available to out-of-province brewers.

In October, Great Western filed a court action seeking to have the mark-up increase declared unconstitutional on the basis that the new rate hinders interprovincial trade and violates the Constitution Act, which protects the free flow of goods between provinces. As part of that motion, an injunction was granted this week pending a determination of the validity of the new tax.

"We are very pleased by the court's judgment, as this decision will enable us to continue our efforts to encourage freedom, competition, and fairness in the marketplace," said Great Western CEO Michael Micovcin.

Ontario craft brewer Steam Whistle Brewing was also granted a second injunction against the new beer tax, following an injunction granted earlier this year against an initial tax increase implemented back in October of 2015.

"Trade barriers do nothing but hurt the economy and consumers," said Micovcin. "The Saskatchewan government recently introduced a lower beer mark-up structure open to any brewer, regardless of location. We sincerely hope the Alberta government, and provincial governments across the country, will take the same approach in order to encourage economic growth and job creation."

SOURCE Great Western Brewing Company

For further information: Michael Micovcin, President & CEO, Great Western Brewing Company, (306) 261-6456, michaelm@gwbc.ca

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