Beer bat­tle

Re­tiree at heart of cross bor­der booze run case get­ting fund­ing help

Cape Breton Post - - CANADA -

A man whose drive from New Brunswick to Que­bec to buy cheaper beer ended in ar­rest said Thurs­day he’s look­ing for­ward to air­ing his con­sti­tu­tional chal­lenge in court next month as a de­fence crowd­fund­ing cam­paign gets un­der­way.

In an in­ter­view from Tra­cadie, N.B., Ger­ard Comeau said he just wants to know whether he has the right to buy his beer in Que­bec.

“The Cana­dian Con­sti­tu­tion says you’ve got the right to go buy any Cana­dian mer­chan­dise in any province and bring it from one province to the next,” Comeau said.

“So is it against the law? That’s what we’re try­ing to find out.”

As part of a sting op­er­a­tion, RCMP ar­rested Comeau, now 62, in Oc­to­ber 2012 when he re­turned with 12 cases of beer and three bot­tles of liquor which he bought legally in Pointe-a-laCroix, Que., just across the river from Camp­bell­ton. Po­lice seized the booze and charged him with il­le­gally im­port­ing al­co­hol into his home province.

Cross-bor­der al­co­hol shop­ping is a reg­u­lar thing in the area and the re­tired power line­man had been mak­ing the run two or three times a year into Que­bec to score beer — which costs about half the New Brunswick price — and lot- tery tick­ets.

How­ever, pro­vin­cial law in New Brunswick — re­lated to fed­eral anti-smug­gling ef­forts im­ple­mented at the height of Pro­hi­bi­tion — for­bids im­port­ing more than one bot­tle of wine or 12 pints of beer — about 19 reg­u­lar bot­tles — from any other province. The re­stric­tions, stiffer than im­port­ing al­co­hol from the U.S., carry a $292.50 fine for vi­o­la­tors.

Beer is on dis­play in­side a store in Drum­mondville, Que., Thurs­day. Ger­ard Comeau, whose drives from New Brunswick to Que­bec to buy cheaper beer ended in ar­rest, is go­ing to court on a con­sti­tu­tional chal­lenge next month.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.