Skip to main content
Access every election story that matters
Enjoy unlimited digital access
$1.99
per week for 24 weeks
Access every election story that matters
Enjoy unlimited digital access
$1.99
per week
for 24 weeks
// //

Premier Rachel Notley, reacting to a proposed $100-million class action lawsuit over Alberta’s beer subsidies, says her government will continue to find ways to support its homegrown industry.

Notley declined to speak to the lawsuit directly on Friday, given it is before the courts.

But she said Alberta is finished supporting liquor industries in other provinces at the expense of its own brewers.

Story continues below advertisement

“We have the most profitable market for other provinces to sell their product into, yet you can’t find Alberta product in almost any other province,” Notley said.

“We have spent a long time here in Alberta supporting the liquor industries of other provinces, and it’s about time that we stand up for Alberta producers and the workers who are working in this province.”

A lawsuit filed in Court of Queen’s Bench in Calgary against the province seeks $100 million on behalf of out-of-province beer producers and others in the industry.

It seeks reparations for losses incurred due to a provincial beer subsidy program, designed to assist Alberta’s craft brewers.

The allegations have not been proven in court, and the class-action status has yet to be certified.

Under the program, brewers in Alberta pay the same $1.25 tax per litre on beer, but Finance Minister Joe Ceci introduced grants in 2016 to help small Alberta producers expand their businesses.

In June, Ceci announced the province was revamping the subsidy plan after a trade panel ruled it contravenes the Agreement on Internal Trade.

Story continues below advertisement

Also in June, a Court of Queen’s Bench judge determined the subsidy program was unconstitutional and ordered Alberta to pay $2 million to two out-of-province brewers. Alberta is appealing that decision.

The program was launched by Ceci in 2016 in a bid, he said, to level the playing field for small Alberta brewers who face barriers such as lengthy and costly applications and restrictions on shelf space.

Alberta has to change its subsidy rules by the end of the year. Notley said work is ongoing.

“What we are going to continue to do is find ways within the law to support our small brewers,” she said.

Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies