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GUEST COLUMN: Alberta's beer rules are hurting interprovincial trade

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Nearly three years have passed since Mike Tessier and Bo Vitanov’s beer importing business, Artisan Ales, was undermined by Alberta Finance Minister Joe Ceci’s policies. It hasn’t been a good three years for either Artisan Ales or Ceci.

Due to these policies, Artisan Ales’s profits plummeted and may never recover. For Ceci’s part, he’s decisively lost an Agreement on Internal Trade (AIT) hearing on two occasions and as an AIT appellate tribunal recently ruled, Mike and Bo’s small business has been illegally harmed.

The Alberta Small Brewers Development Program (ASBD) was at the heart of the dispute. Under Ceci’s watch, Alberta abandoned its graduated mark-up in favour of a flat rate for all. The province then provided an off-setting grant “based on sales volumes of Alberta-made beer sold in the province” to put only Alberta’s small brewers back into the position they would have been if the graduated mark-up had not changed.........

© Winnipeg Sun