New Brunswick — In a move that surprised nobody at all, the Supreme Court of Canada finally issued their ruling in the so-called “free-the-beer” case: instead of giving citizens the constitutional right to transport alcohol between provinces without restrictions, they’re…not doing that. Of course.
“We all knew what the Supreme Court decision would be. Nothing ever changes in this friggin’ country,” said Nick Bradley [not his real name], co-owner of Bradley Brothers Beyond Borders Booze Bandits, or BBBBBB Inc., “so my brother Rick [not his real name] and I already had our logo designed months ago, we had shirts and hats and other swag made — and in fact, we’re not supposed to say this, but Opportunities New Brunswick even gave us a generous startup grant.
“That’s right: the guys over at ONB know what’s up — they wanted in on the ground floor of this thing,” he added.
The business plan is this: The brothers will take orders on their website and over the phone, make the trip themselves to Quebec for the much-cheaper booze, drive back and add small “transportation” and “risk” fees, passing most of the savings on to the consumer. In case of legal repercussions, the brothers are also maintaining a perpetual crowdfunding campaign to bail them out of jail or to cover fines.
“The crowdfunding page is already at a half million,” said Rick. “The biggest donation came from some user just called ‘Big Gallant 82.’ Clearly, New Brunswickers care about this case.”
The brothers, based in Campbellton, saw an opportunity where other New Brunswickers saw only more defeat.
“We’re both working at the call centre here and we’re getting laid off this summer, so we needed something to fall back on. We think this’ll be lucrative, to say the least. Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE in New Brunswick has driven to Quebec for cheaper beer at some point. We do it every weekend! We’ve just been lucky enough so far not to get caught.”
The brothers said that Gerard Comeau, the Tracadie-Sheila man whose refusal to pay a fine for illegally importing alcohol from Quebec to New Brunswick launched the cross-Canada beer battle, was the inspiration behind the whole thing.
“Yeah, he’s somewhat of a hero in our house,” laughed Nick. “He’s an underdog, and who besides the Supreme Court doesn’t love a good underdog story? In fact we had a caricature artists draw a smiling Gerard for our logo and branding. I doubt he’ll mind.”
Neither brother would be pictured, for obvious reasons, but both are enthusiastic about business prospects.
“Our phones have been ringing off the hook. I’m headed over to Pointe-à-la-Croix this afternoon to get beer for at least a dozen thirsty New Brunswickers. You want anything?”