The New Alberta Beer Tax: This Means War
Alberta’s new tax has taken the Canadian beer industry by storm. While they are offering $20m in grants to breweries that brew less than 30 million litres/year will this be enough to cover potential losses? Is the tax even constitutional? Will it help or hurt Alberta’s breweries?
By Shira Kogut on Aug. 02, 2016
Well everybody, you have until Friday to go out and get some of your favourite craft beers before the prices change. Friday Aug. 5, the new beer tax will be put into effect. This new tax not only affects the local craft breweries, but our neighboring provinces to the east and west are enraged. We are violating the New West Partnership free trade deal, they say, and while I don’t know all the legal ins and outs, the spirit of deal has definitely taken a beating (for the legal ins and outs watch this video from Rebel Media).
Yes, the local breweries in Alberta will be offered $20m in grants, but will this be enough to overcome the increased cost as well as cover the decrease in clientele from BC and Saskatchewan? Will the other provinces enact some of their own counter measures? There are going to be some big decisions and discussions coming up.
We have some FANTASTIC breweries here in Alberta and hopefully it will increase their revenues as well as jobs for Albertans (which is part of the plan the Govt says), but how will Albertans react to having their freedom of choice limited?
True, beer is not a staple and it’s not like they have stopped allowing beers into the province. There is no Prohibition (which would really cause a war). However, in these hard economic times increasing the price of craft beers limits people’s purchasing capabilities and for some takes this wonderful delight off the table (literally). We, here in Alberta, are big beer drinkers with strong loyalties to our local brews, but we also enjoy the fruits of our neighbors and they enjoy ours, that’s what makes us good neighbours.
What do you think will happen? Will Alberta breweries be helped or be hurt? How are the other provinces going to react? We’d love to hear what you think.
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