2006-11-24

Will Quebec Being a Nation Affect the Price of Beer?

That's what Norm Peterson of Cheers would ask, and that is what the rest of us should ask too. Seriously, how is a Nation resolution going to affect anybody? I don't understand the people who are in favour of the resolution, and I don't understand the people who are against it. As far as I can tell, just like the distinct society resolution 10 years ago (that Harper voted against), the nation resolution will have no consequences whatsoever.

Minorities
There are relatively large French speaking populations in Switzerland and Belgium. Does that make France less of a nation? There are French Canadians outside Quebec and there are English speaking people in Quebec. Calling Quebec a nation won't change that. Quebec separating won't change that.

Beer and Nations
I live in Edmundston, New Brunswick, located on the border with Maine and very near the Province of Quebec. Even though beer is significantly cheaper on the other side of the bridge in Maine, I don't buy it there because I'd be supposed to declare it on my way back. If I didn't, and my car was searched by Canadians for the first time ever, I'd have my beer confiscated. More to the point, I'd have a file, so every time I went through Canada Customs (see page 26 of 28) I'd be under suspicion.

Buying beer in Quebec and importing it into New Brunswick is technically illegal. I'm not sure what the law is, so don't ask me what the penalties are. Beer in Quebec is much cheaper than in New Brunswick. Partly that is because of lower taxes, but mostly that is because beer in Quebec is sold in convenience and grocery stores. You sometime have to shop around, but generally the prices are much lower in Quebec.

The law against cross border beer purchases isn't really meant for individuals. If you were doing it for reselling, then maybe you might get arrested. I know in the Maine-New Hampshire-Massachusetts border area, police occasionally hold sting operations. In one case I read about, the local police charged the out of state police force with loitering!

Anyway, calling Quebec a nation doesn't change a fundamental fact: there are no custom agents at the Quebec-New Brunswick border and the RCMP (New Brunswick's police force) doesn't have beer buying sting operations. So this nation thing won't affect the price I pay for beer. So why should I care? Why should you care?

2 comments:

Hawkeyi said...

I love the idea, way to go Stevie!Lets hope now we can put this debate behind us and enjoy the Nation we both share and love. Vive la Quebec! Vive la Canada!
.
Hey now I won't have to continue with my letter campaign and sending money favors to Washington Congressmen and Senators for our swap of the province of Quebec for the State of Minnesota. We still want Minnesota minus Tim Pawlenty. We could trade Hans Island? You guys in Washington like Danishes right? I'll start a new campaign.
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P.S. George, Go ahead and deposit that last money order I sent (spend Wisely).

Altavistagoogle said...

Vive _le_ Quebec et _le_ Canada. Both are masculin. Don't worry, there is no logic, that is just the way it is. France is feminine (la France).

I find it amusing you want Minnesota to be part of Canada. I'm pretty sure most Canadians would agree. Ditto for Maine, Massachusetts, Alaska and many other States. It would be interesting to have a poll asking which American states Canadians don't want to be part of Canada.

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