Currie’s Corner 615 , April 19th 2018
Canada has been a country for more than 150 years, but right now there are a number of battles going on between provinces that really make you wonder if Confederation might just be a phase we’ve been going through.
In this dissertation I was planning to look at how western provinces are preparing for a ‘civil war’ of sorts over pipelines, but I’ll leave that aside for now.
The Supreme Court of Canada has declared that their most important issue of national interest is whether you should be allowed to buy alcoholic beverages in one province and move them to another. In a unanimous vote, the high court justices declared that No, this should not be allowed.
Gerard Comeau lives in Tracadie New Brunswick, population 4,933. He wasn’t crazy about the beverage choices in his province. In 2012 he went shopping in Quebec and came home with several cases of beer and three bottles of liquor.
The sale of alcohol is a matter of provincial jurisdiction, and the booze police in New Brunswick came after Mr. Comeau. He was fined $240 and costs, and he decided to fight the issue. A lower court judge in the Atlantic province agreed with him that such rules were outdated in the new millennium, and the judge tossed out the fine.
The Court of Appeal in New Brunswick refused to even hear the case, but the Supreme Court said ‘sure, bring it to us’. In their ruling, the justices in Ottawa basically said provinces must have this kind of control over alcohol, or else ‘bootleggers and home brewers’ could run amok. Who knew?
The history of drink in our dominion is a fascinating one. In places like the Maritimes in particular, it has been known to determine elections going way back in time. Free Trade between provinces in the demon rum has never been allowed, and it looks like it never will be .
I shudder to think what will happen with cannabis.
Will there be ‘pot in every chicken’ ? Stay tuned .
I’m Roger Currie