In a display of statesmanship fit for any beer hall or backyard barbecue across the land, Conservative MP Dan Albas stood before the House of Commons Friday and once again called upon the government to end the prohibition on transporting alcohol across provincial borders. “Free the beer!” shouted Albas, much to the delight of colleagues on both sides of the aisle.
“Wouldn’t it be great on the eve of a long weekend,” said Albas. “We could all kick back and share a fine Canadian beverage together.
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“Perhaps a B.C. red wine, or a Nova Scotia white, maybe a Saskatchewan craft ale,” said Albas.
“But wait, here in Ontario it’s still illegal to directly ship these Canadian products,” he added.
Albas’ renewed call to action stems from a New Brunswick court ruling early this month in which Justice Robert LeBlanc declared a provincial ban on transporting alcohol between provinces violates the constitution.
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Shouts of “Oh no!” and “Say it isn’t so!” could be heard from fellow MPs as Albas pushed the government to move quickly on this issue.
“When will the Liberal government give Canadians a reason to raise their glasses?” asked Albas.
“He has the time, I have the beer. Let’s get together.”
Greg Fergus, parliamentary secretary to the minister of innovation, science and economic development, responded to Albas’ question by inviting him sit down and share a beer.
“He has the time, I have the beer. Let’s get together,” said Fergus, adding that the government continues to seek a comprehensive trade deal between Ottawa and the provinces.
Economic development minister Navdeep Bains has also indicated that he welcomes the N.B. court ruling, and that he will work with both provincial and territorial counterparts to bring about the end of internal trade barriers and tariffs.
No news yet on whether Albas has accepted Fergus’ offer to join him for a beer.