Labatt Breweries of Canada Ltd. v. Attorney General of Canada

1 S.C.R. 914 (1980)

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Labatt Breweries of Canada Ltd. v. Attorney General of Canada

Canada Supreme Court
1 S.C.R. 914 (1980)

Facts

The Canadian parliament enacted the Food and Drugs Act, which created recipe and alcohol-content regulations for light beer. Labatt Breweries (plaintiff) challenged the application of the statute and regulations to Labatt’s Special Lite. The attorney general of Canada (defendant) argued that marketing decisions did not change the nature of the product and the necessity that the beer be brewed as required by the regulations. Labatt argued that the Parliament had no legal authority to regulate the production of beer. The attorney general argued that the authority for Parliament to legislate could be found in Article 91 of the British North America Act, which granted Parliament the authority to legislate with respect to criminal law, trade and commerce, and peace, order, and good government. The trial court assumed the validity of the statute and ruled in favor of Labatt. The attorney general appealed to the Federal Court of Appeals, which ruled in favor of the attorney general. Labatt appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Estey, J.)

Dissent (Laskin, C.J.)

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