FAQs on the Supreme Court of Canada case Her Majesty the Queen v. Gerard Comeau


1. Q. What is the R v Comeau case?
A. In October 2012, New Brunswick resident Gerard Comeau purchased beer and spirits in Quebec and drove back to New Brunswick. He was fined by the RCMP and his beer and spirits confiscated because The New Brunswick Liquor Control Act prohibits anyone in the province from having more than 12 pints of beer not purchased through a liquor store in the province.

2. Q. Why did the provincial court throw out the charges?
A. The New Brunswick Provincial Court held that section 134(b) of the Liquor Control Act represented a trade barrier and therefore violates section 121 of the Constitution Act (1867).

3. Q. When did this case go to the Supreme Court?
A. On December 6 and 7th, 2017, the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) heard appeal of the New Brunswick Provincial Court’s decision in R. v. Comeau.

4. Q. How will a ruling by the Supreme Court affect Direct-To-Consumer purchase of wine?
A. An SCC decision supporting Comeau could overturn the rules that govern interprovincial trade and commerce in Canada. One implication of this decision could be the right for Canadians in one province to order wine from a winery in another province and have the wine delivered directly to their home.