If you want to understand how events/decisions from the past shape today, look no further than the current debate over the sale of Canadian alcohol. The Importation of Intoxicating Liquors Act states that the only way a Canadian citizen can legally buy alcohol from another province is through the provincially licensed distributor in their own province.
This means, for example, consumers in Ontario can only buy BC wine from the LCBO. Some consumers and producers, however, believe that this is unconstitutional.
Most of the provinces rescinded Prohibition by the mid 1920s. Government agencies, such as the Liquor Control Board of Ontario, were created to control the distribution of alcohol. The Importation of Intoxicating Liquors Act, passed in 1928, was part of this strategy.
The Current Arguments
- Those against the law argue that it is unconstitutional because the Canada Act guarantees the free movement of Canadian products between the provinces
- They also argue that the Importation of Intoxicating Liquors Act reflects a different time in Canadian history, and should no longer apply.
On the other hand….
- Those who support the current law argue that consumers can still purchase wine from other provinces by ordering the products through their own provincial agency (the delivery can take 2-3 weeks).
- More importantly, they argue that sales directly from wineries don’t allow the Control Boards to collect the extra tax dollars based on the sale on alcohol in the province. These tax dollars support each province’s social programs, such as health care and education.
So, the issue seems to be consumer freedom vs. tax dollars. Which do you think is more important?
Two Crises: Suez or October?
You need to become more familiar with whichever crisis you didn’t examine on Friday. Read the appropriate section of the textbook, and answer the following two questions:
- How was this crisis resolved?
- What was the legacy of the crisis for Canada?