HALIFAX — A popular Halifax microbrewery has taken on the Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation — and lost.
The province’s Court of Appeal found the NSLC’s markup fee on beer sold on Unfiltered Brewing’s own premises was a proprietary charge and not an unlawful tax.
The appeal court upheld a January 2018 Nova Scotia Supreme Court ruling that the 50-cent charge for every litre of beer sold or given away was within legal regulations.
The court says the prior ruling is supported by the province’s Liquor Control Act and its regulations, as well as liquor corporation policies.
Unfiltered Brewing was also ordered to pay $1,000 in costs to the province’s attorney general as part of the appeal court’s ruling.
The Nova Scotia decision comes on the heels of an Alberta court decision last year where that province’s beer markup scheme was found to be unconstitutional.
The Alberta government was ordered to pay $2.1 million in restitution to Great Western Brewing of Saskatoon and Steam Whistle Brewing of Toronto, after the court found the subsidies portion of the pricing scheme created a trade barrier against their products.
Alberta filed a notice of appeal over the ruling.