Her Majesty the Queen v. Gerard Comeau

(New Brunswick) (Civil) (By Leave)


Constitutional law - Constitutional law — Interpretation — Conflict of laws — Interprovincial trade — Notice of Prosecution for having brought alcoholic beverages into New Brunswick from Quebec — Whether this Court has jurisdiction to hear the substantive appeal in this case considering that leave to appeal before the Court of Appeal of New Brunswick was denied? — Whether section 121 of the Constitution is a free trade provision? — Constitution Act, 1867, s. 121 — Liquor Control Act, RSNB 1973, c. L-10, s. 134.


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In October 2012, Mr. Comeau was intercepted by the police in Campbellton, New Brunswick. He was returning from Pointe-à-la-Croix and the Listuguj First Nation Indian Reserve, in the province of Québec, where had purchased alcoholic beverages at a cheaper price than he would have paid had he purchased the alcohol in New Brunswick. Mr. Comeau was charged under section 134(b) of the New Brunswick Liquor Control Act, RSNB 1973, c. L-10 for exceeding the limit on beer and liquor that could be brought into New Brunswick from another province, and the alcoholic beverages were seized. In his defense, Mr. Comeau claimed that section 134(b) of the Liquor Control Act was an unenforceable provincial law, of no force and effect, as it contravened section 121 of the Constitution Act, 1867.