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Supreme Court decision means an end to cross-border beer runs: Comeau

FREDERICTON — A New Brunswick man whose beer run to Quebec in 2012 sparked a constitutional question over cross-border liquor sales says today's high court decision will mean an end to his beer-buying trips.

Gerard Comeau was reacting to a ruling by the Supreme Court of Canada that affirmed the constitutionality of a New Brunswick law limiting the possession of alcohol not purchased through the province's liquor stores.

The unanimous decision effectively preserves the current trade regime, in which provinces have the power to enact laws that restrict commerce if there is another overriding purpose — in this case, the desire to control the supply of alcohol within New Brunswick.

Comeau was fined nearly $300 in 2012 after buying 14 cases of beer and three bottles of alcohol in Quebec.

The Tracadie man says it appears that tax revenues are more important than personal liberties in Canada.

He says he can go buy any other item he wants, anywhere in Canada, and wants to know why beer is treated differently.

The Canadian Press

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