Portrait of lawyer Ben Grant

Op-Ed by Conway lawyer Ben Grant: Alberta trade challenge — a new opportunity to free the beer

Conway Lawyer, Ben Grant, has authored an opinion column which was published by the Toronto Sun this past weekend, which can be read here. The column, entitled “GRANT: Alberta trade challenge — a new opportunity to free the beer”, provides context on Alberta’s decision to launch a complaint under the Canadian Free Trade Agreement about the policies and practices of the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO). Ben Grant represented…

Glasses of beer and ale barrel on the wooden table. Craft brewer

Alberta changes beer measures following successful AIT complaint, launches trade challenge against Ontario

On Monday, the Alberta government announced that it will modify its measures relating to craft beer mark-ups to bring them in compliance with Canadian trade law. In October 2015, Alberta government introduced measures which imposed higher mark-ups on beer produced in some provinces than beer produced in Alberta. In August 2016, Alberta government announced that all beer was subject to the same mark-up but in addition, small Alberta brewers were…

Beer Cans

Conway lawyer Ben Grant achieves success in interprovincial beer dispute

An appellate panel has affirmed a determination that Alberta has contravened its obligations under the Agreement on Internal Trade (AIT) in its treatment of craft beer produced in other provinces. Ben Grant of Conway Litigation represented the complainant, Artisan Ales, in the initial proceeding and the appeal. Artisan Ales imports high-quality craft beer from Quebec and around the world for sale in the Alberta market. The complaint stemmed from measures…

Conway Lawyers Successfully Challenge Alberta Beer Mark-Ups in Interprovincial Trade Dispute

A dispute resolution panel under the Agreement on Internal Trade has found that certain mark-ups charged by the Alberta government on beer sold in Alberta contravened the province’s obligations under the Agreement on Internal Trade (AIT). The measures at issue were introduced in October 2015 (see previous post), and imposed higher mark-ups on beer produced in certain provinces than beer produced in Alberta. In August 2016, Alberta announced that an…

Provinces Announce Sweeping New Trade Deal

This afternoon, the provinces and the federal government announced the establishment of a new interprovincial trade deal. On July 1, 2017, the Canadian Free Trade Agreement will replace the Agreement on Internal Trade. Most notably, the Canadian Free Trade Agreement aims to remove trade barriers across all sectors unless specifically excluded. This marks a major change from the existing Agreement on Internal Trade, which is limited to the sectors specifically…

Remedies for private parties in the Agreement on Internal Trade

The Agreement on Internal Trade, signed in 1994 by Canada’s provinces, territories, and federal government, aims at promoting trade between provinces. Provincial, territorial, and federal governments have amended the AIT several times since its inception. The AIT now allows individuals and companies to challenge the actions of Canadian governments as inconsistent with AIT obligations. This post will outline the basic shape and steps of such a challenge. This post will…

Trouble Brewing? Alberta’s beer markup and the AIT

If you are a small brewer from Central or Eastern Canada, it just became a lot more expensive to sell beer in Alberta. Alberta’s government announced significant changes to the tax charged on beer sold in the province (known as the “liquor markup”). Among other changes, which came into effect October 28, 2015, Canadian brewers from provinces other than British Columbia, Alberta, and Saskatchewan lost the benefit of the small brewer…