The Supreme Court Law Review: Osgoode’s Annual Constitutional Cases Conference

Article Title

R. v. Comeau: A Crack In the Wall?


In 2012, one man’s journey from New Brunswick to Quebec in pursuit of cheap beer sparked a fierce constitutional debate about the role of interprovincial trade in Canada. In a booze run that has since made Canadian legal history, G rard Comeau drove from his home in Tracadie, New Brunswick to the Listiguj First Nation Indian Reserve in Quebec, where alcohol is sold at a cheap price. While there, he stocked up on 15 cases of beer and three bottles of liquor, purchased from three different stores. Unbeknownst to him, Mr. Comeau had been under surveillance in his sojourn into Quebec. When he crossed back over into New Brunswick, Mr. Comeau’s vehicle was intercepted by the RCMP, the alcohol was seized, and Mr. Comeau was charged and fined close to $300 under section 134(b) of the New Brunswick Liquor Control Act, which prohibits possession of liquor not purchased from the New Brunswick Liquor Corporation in excess of a prescribed amount.