Fredericton — A landmark New Brunswick case has made its way to the Supreme Court, all instigated by retired Tracadie-Sheila man Gerard Comeau, who was caught coming home from Quebec with cheap booze — as almost every New Brunswicker has done at some point. Comeau was fined, but contested his ticket, which drew attention to the rigid and outdated laws New Brunswick has surrounding liquor.
While it may be in the Canadian Constitution to allow free trade between borders, the provincial Crown corporation NB Liquor wants to put a stop to that.
“If customers leave the province to get their booze just because it’s drastically cheaper in Quebec, how will we be able to afford to import, market, and sell all our wonderful products made everywhere but New Brunswick?” emailed an anonymous ANBL communications officer, who reluctantly agreed to an interview after we asked 45 times and threatened to reveal their name to the public.
“This Christmas, we’re pleased to offer the beer-lovers on your list some great deals on Miller High Life — I’m told it’s the Champagne of beers — and of course Molson is always a hit for those occasions when you just want to get blackout drunk and forget you live in New Brunswick, and we have tons of those synthetic-flavoured Smirnoffs; they’ve always been the base of any great cocktail, and there’s still no proof that they give you cancer.”
There are dozens of local alcohol producers operating within New Brunswick’s borders that make quality products, and NB Liquor carries some of them, but will not advertise them in their marketing materials. Instead, they heavily promote those disgusting Palm Bay cooler things, that Belgian Moon fake craft beer, Mike’s Hard Lemonade, and instead of delicious cider made right here in the capital city, they push that fucking Somersby Cider that tastes like diabetes in a can.
Most New Brunswickers know that if you want top-notch spirits, Fils Du Roy, a distillery in Paquetville, N.B., is the place to go. NB Liquor, though, insists that you should look no further than Tito’s Handmade Vodka, operating out of Texas. At least, that’s what their taxpayer-funded promotional materials would have you believe.
“Look, it’s not rocket science,” the email continued. “It’s simple: we get a big-ass markup on the mass-produced crap like Budweiser or Miller or Captain Morgan, and not as much goes in our pockets if we showcase the local guys. But that doesn’t mean it’s OK for people to just go out of province for even cheaper versions of the junk we promote here. No siree bob. Doesn’t loyalty mean anything anymore?”
ANBL is hopeful that, regardless of the outcome of the court case, residents will stop trying to get cheap products in Quebec, or quality local alcohol, and settle for impulse-buying that utterly nasty hard root beer they try to shove down your throat when you’re already in the checkout line.
“It’s not that bad, honestly,” wrote the communications rep. “I tried it once on a dare.”