The Saskatchewan government acted as an intervener on the Appellate Panel that has decided a beer markup by the Alberta government goes against the Agreement on Internal Trade.

The dispute was between Artisan Ales Consulting Inc. – a Calgary-based importer – and the Alberta government. The Saskatchewan government supported Artisan Ales as an intervener on the original panel and the appeal process.

“We are very pleased with the decision which confirms that Alberta’s beer market distorting policies unfairly discriminate against Saskatchewan and Canadian brewers,” Trade and Export Development Minister Jeremy Harrison said in a written release. “We call on the Government of Alberta to immediately comply with this ruling, as they have promised, ensuring that brewers from our province and the rest of Canada can compete fairly with Alberta-based brewers.”

In July 2016, Artisan Ales challenged an Alberta measure that applied markups to beer produced in Alberta and imported from other provinces. In July 2017, the panel found the markups impaired internal trade. The Government of Alberta filed an appeal against the decision in August, and the panel heard arguments from both sides in January.

The panel upheld the decision made last August, saying the markups were contrary to free trade obligations.