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Campaign underway to ‘axe’ runaway taxes on beer in Canada

This illustration from Beer Canada shows the importance of beer to the Canadian economy. - Beer Canada
This illustration from Beer Canada shows the importance of beer to the Canadian economy. - Beer Canada

It may come as a surprise to learn that almost half of the cost of a bottle of beer in Canada goes to taxes.

The country’s brewers are looking to increase awareness about the high rate of taxation on suds with a new campaign aimed at axing the escalating beer tax.

Beer Canada says Canadians pay on average 47 per cent taxes on beer, one of the highest beer taxation rates in the world.

In a news release announcing the campaign, Beer Canada pointed out the two per cent federal excise tax that went into effect last year will continue to climb annually thanks to an automatic tax escalator that will kick in on April 1.

"Imagine being stuck on an escalator going up and up and up, and you cannot get off, and you cannot make it stop – that's what beer lovers in Canada are facing with this escalator tax,” Beer Canada chair George Croft said.

“We need people who love beer to help us axe the escalator tax.”

The Beer Canada release highlights the importance of the beverage to the Canadian economy, citing a new report from the Conference Board of Canada, which says beer generates $13.6 billion in economic activity. As well, some 149,000 Canadians are employed in the industry, earning roughly $5.3 billion.

Beer Canada is asking Canadians to go to www.axethebeertax.ca to support the campaign and sign a petition demanding the escalator tax be dropped.

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