Canada's NDP

Skip to main content

March 31st, 2022

NDP MP Richard Cannings introduces a beer bill that makes sense

OTTAWA – As the cost of gas, groceries and housing continues to rise, NDP Critic for Small Business and Tourism, Richard Cannings (South Okanagan—West Kootenay) wants to make it easier to put money back in Canadians’ pockets. Today, Cannings introduced Bill C-267 that aims to eliminate the federal excise tax on low-alcoholic beer.

“Just like the other low-alcohol choices we find in grocery stores, low-alcohol beer is a health-conscious and increasingly popular choice that we should not deter,” said Cannings. “An error was made, and the result is that Canada doesn’t treat all low-alcohol beverages equally. Low alcohol wine and spirits are not subject to the tax while beer with a 0.5% alcohol volume is. My bill aims to fix this and treat all low-alcohol beverages equally.”

Cannings pointed out that Canada’s trading partners do not collect excise duties on non-alcoholic beer. Furthermore, in 2020, the federal government collected an estimated $1.1 million in excise tax on low-alcohol beer sales. Justification for alcohol and other taxes include reasoning that the government revenue generated helps Canadians. But Cannings says that the government must be consistent and logical across this sector.

“As someone from what the Lonely Planet has dubbed the ‘Craft Beer Capital of Canada’, I am encouraged that fixing this error would likely help expand domestic production of low-alcohol beer,” said Cannings. “The removal of the excise tax on low-alcohol beer should be a welcome and easy fix.”

Cannings’ bill aims to quickly correct the excise tax inconsistency with hopes of the government including it in its budget implementation act in the coming weeks.

Quote from validator:

“Canada is the only country we’re aware of that currently applies an excise tax on non-alcohol beer. Canadians might not be aware but brewing high quality low and no-alcohol beer is a complex and costly process. Fixing this issue will send a positive signal to the industry and over the long-term has the potential to improve the selection of no and low-alcohol beer options available to consumers. We thank Mr. Cannings and his NDP colleagues for their support of the Canadian beer industry, and the 149,000 Canadians whose jobs are supported by beer.”

Luke Chapman, Vice President of Beer Canada whose members collectively represent 90% of the beer produced in Canada