Artisan Ales’ bitter-sweet victory against Notley NDP is a win for Alberta (Guest: Bo Vitanov)

December 26th, 2018

23 mins 33 secs

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About this Episode

From the beginning, we’ve been covering the story of how the Notley NDP started tinkering with liquor prices in Alberta.

Almost immediately after taking office, they enacted protectionist policies against beer imports and simultaneously started subsidizing Alberta microbrewers every single month with grants.

It was a poorly thought-out plan to bolster Alberta's small brewing industry that picked winners and losers and brought unintended consequences as importers were then burdened with trying to sell a much more expensive product into a market proliferated with government subsidized beers.

The protectionist policies and beer tax hikes spawned trade disputes between provinces and legal challenges pitting Alberta small businesses against the government.

Trade tribunal after trade tribunal ruled against the government but they persisted with frivolous appeals that kept importers embroiled in expensive legal battles in order to exhaust their resources.

But now, those small businesses have utterly defeated the government, forcing them to repeal their taxes and tariffs, bringing them back to 2015 levels before the government tried to “fix” what was never broken.

And a six pack of beer is about to get a whole lot cheaper in Alberta in 2019.

Joining me tonight to tell her side of the story about how she fought the government behemoth and won, is Bo Vitanov from Artisan Ales.

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