Jason Kenney Slams Alberta's New Beer Tax

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JASON KENNEY
Jason Kenney waves to the crowd at the Calgary Stampede parade. | Jeff McIntosh/CP
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Alberta is changing its beer tax for the second time in just under a year, and Tory MP Jason Kenney is none too pleased.

The NDP announced Tuesday it would be updating the markup on all beer sold in Alberta to $1.25 per litre, regardless of a company's size or location. The new markup is set to take effect August 5, with grants available for small brewers in the province.

In the NDP budget tabled in October, the government said beer would be taxed on a sliding scale — small, local brewers would pay only 10 cents per litre.

"To add insult to injury, the NDP are hiking the price of beer in August, when many of us enjoy a beer or two during a hot summer day."

Kenney announced his intention to run for leader of Alberta's Progressive Conservative party last week. It didn't take him long to wade into the province's political fray, posting a scathing diatribe to Facebook Wednesday against two things few people like: taxes and taxes on beer.

"The announcement by the NDP to jack up the price of beer from small and medium sized breweries to $1.25 per litre amounts to a $2.50 increase for many six-packs," wrote Kenney.

"To add insult to injury, the NDP are hiking the price of beer in August, when many of us enjoy a beer or two during a hot summer day."

Kenney isn't the only one concerned about the new tax.

'It all comes down to the details'

“It’s a little scary. It’s an 1,100 per cent increase in our taxes,” said Kelti Boissonneault, co-owner of Theoretical Brewing Company Ltd. in Lethbridge, in an interview with Global News.

However, others are waiting for more details on the grants which have yet to be released.

"Our hope is that we're no worse off," Terry Rock, executive director of the Alberta Small Brewers Assocation, told the Calgary Herald.

"It all comes down to the details of the grant program — we don't want this to be passed on to consumers of Alberta beer."

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