Moosehead worried of bootlegging increase if beer import rules change

Bootlegging could rise if rules change Oland
Beer is on display inside a store in Drummondville, Que., on July 23, 2015. A hearing over a New Brunswick man's bid to bring beer home from Quebec continues in court today. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz

CAMPBELLTON, N.B. – The chief financial officer for Moosehead Breweries says he has no problem with New Brunswickers going to Quebec for lower priced beer for their personal use.

But Patrick Oland says he worries that if current import restrictions are removed it could result in bootleggers bringing truckloads of beer into New Brunswick for illegal distribution.

Oland testified this morning in Campbellton, N.B., where Gerard Comeau is charged with illegally importing 14 cases of beer and three bottles of liquor from a Quebec border town in October 2012.

The New Brunswick Liquor Control Act prohibits anyone in the province from having more than 12 pints of beer that wasn’t purchased through an NB Liquor outlet.

Comeau’s defence lawyers argue that’s unconstitutional because Section 121 of the Constitution says anything produced in one province shall be admitted free into each of the other provinces.

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Oland said there’s a patchwork of different tariffs and regulations in place across the country.

He said if that changes, any new rules must be carefully thought out and not give advantage to any one or more brewers in any market.

WATCH: Cross-border New Brunswick beer buyer mounts constitutional challenge

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