Supreme Court’s ‘free-the-beer’ decision privileges one part of the Constitution over another

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The Supreme Court of Canada’s decision in the Comeau case on Thursday will disappoint many who were hoping for stronger protections for free trade within Canada’s borders. That surely includes anyone whose weekend plans involved a long drive in search of cheap beer.

The case was an appeal brought by the Crown against Gerard Comeau, a New Brunswick man charged under a provincial law for going on a beer run to Quebec. The outcome hinged on the interpretation of Section 121 of the Constitution Act, 1867, which states that the goods of one province must be « admitted free into each of the other provinces. »

The issue was whether the New Brunswick law — prohibiting possession of all but modest quantities of out-of-province liquor — was consistent with this constitutional guarantee. The trial judge had held that it was not. The Supreme Court disagreed, upholding the New Brunswick law.

Lire la suite : http://www.cbc.ca/news/opinion/supreme-court-comeau-1.4627300