A plan by the Alberta government to subsidize and boost its own craft beer industry has been hammered again by a trade panel ruling.
An appeal panel under the Agreement on Internal Trade has upheld an earlier decision that provincial subsidies to assist smaller Alberta craft brewers are unfair and violate inter-provincial free trade rules.
The Saskatchewan government had been acting as an intervener on the Appellate Panel as they supported Calgary-based importe Artisan Ales.
“We are very pleased with the decision which confirms that Alberta’s beer market distorting policies unfairly discriminate against Saskatchewan and Canadian brewers,” Trade and Export Development Minister Jeremy Harrison said in a written release. “We call on the Government of Alberta to immediately comply with this ruling, as they have promised, ensuring that brewers from our province and the rest of Canada can compete fairly with Alberta-based brewers.”
The Alberta government had filed an appeal last August after Artisan Ales challenged them on markups to beer produced in Alberta and imported from other provinces.