Posted January 12, 2015

Aspiring beer retailer files Superior Court notice against Beer Store

Toronto, ON – Acting on behalf of would-be craft beer retailer, Barge Craft Beer & Distribution & Retail Co., a Toronto law firm has filed a 60-day notice of application to the Ontario Superior Court of Justice to invalidate subsection 3(e) of the Liquor Control Act, which grants the Beer Store monopoly powers.

The relationship between Barge Craft Beer and representing law firm Hassell Trial Counsel was not immediately confirmed.

Listed below are some of the grounds for this application:

  • Pursuant to subsection 3(e) of the Liquor Control Act, The Beer Store is granted monopoly status as the only private company able to sell beer to the public without brewing beer;
  • Barge Craft Beer is not able to apply for nor obtain a licence to sell beer and therefore cannot sell beer to the public;
  • Subsection 3(e) of the Liquor Control Act is an unreasonable restraint of trade, contrary to equitable principles of fairness and contrary to public policy;
  • The impact of subsection 3(e) of the Liquor Control Act is detrimental to Ontario’s economy. For example, Ontario craft brewers have significant hurdles to selling high quality craft beer, hampering growth and stalling job creation in Ontario. Furthermore, competitors such as Barge Craft Beer are shut out of the beer market to the detriment of Ontario consumers.
  • The Liquor Control Act and Liquor Licence Act can easily be amended to create a competitive and fair beer market subject to the regulatory oversight of the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario. For example, a retail beer licence would create a competitive and fair beer market;
  • The regulated conduct doctrine does not justify The Beer Store’s monopoly status. The regulated conduct doctrine justifies the regulation of beer retailing in general, but not the granting of monopolies to a single private company within a regulated context;
  • Ontario deserves a competitive and fair beer market. A competitive and fair beer market will benefit Ontario’s economy and Ontarians generally and is therefore in the best interests of Ontario; i. Clause 14.05(3)(d) of the Rules of Civil Procedure;

A copy of the entire notice is available here: Barge Craft Beer Notice of Application concerning the Liquor Control Act Draft for Notice Purposes [PDF]

Topics: ,

Back to Top ↑