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Earlier this year, the Supreme Court of Canada decided the case of R. v. Comeau, which arose from a $292.50 fine for a liquor-smuggling offence under a regulatory statute.

The SCC ruling, which held that Section 121 did not render unconstitutional New Brunswick’s regulatory limits on importing liquor from other provinces, will have a profound impact on interprovincial trade and the many industries engaged in it. Perhaps more important, it could turn out to be the Supreme Court’s defining iteration of federalism in the modern age. What was at stake was the fate of a myriad of interprovincial trade barriers, which organizations such as the Canadian Chamber of Commerce claim cost Canadians billions in higher costs.

Lexpert contributor Julius Melnitzer reports at Follow @Lexpert on Twitter. Lexpert is published by Thomson Reuters.

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