Winnipeg – June 11, 2018 – The Appellate Panel under the Agreement on Internal Trade (AIT) has issued its decision in the appeal of the Panel Report in the Person to Government dispute between Artisan Ales Consulting Inc. and the Government of Alberta regarding mark-ups on beer.

The Appellate Panel reversed some parts of the Panel Report but upheld the determination of the Panel that the Alberta Small Brewers Development (ASBD) Program is inconsistent with the AIT. The Appellate Report can be found on the CFTA web site at:

In July 2016, Artisan Ales Consulting Inc. requested that a Person to Government proceeding be initiated with respect to an Alberta measure which applied mark-ups on beer produced in Alberta and beer imported from other Canadian provinces. In July 2017, the Panel found that Alberta’s Measures (the Mark-ups and the ASBD Program together) had impaired internal trade and caused injury and a denial of benefit. In August 2017, the Government of Alberta filed an appeal against the findings of the Panel Report. In January 2018, the Appellate Panel (comprised of Peter Kirby (chair), Milos Barutciski and Debra Steger) held a hearing and heard arguments from the participants: Artisan Ales, the Government of Alberta and an intervenor, the Government of Saskatchewan.

The AIT was an intergovernmental trade agreement signed by Canadian First Ministers in July 1994. Its purpose is to reduce and eliminate, to the extent possible, barriers to the free movement of persons, goods, services, and investment within Canada so as to establish an open, efficient, and stable domestic market. The AIT has been superseded by the Canadian Free Trade Agreement (the CFTA) which came into effect on July 1, 2017.

For more information on the AIT and its dispute resolution procedures, visit and/or contact: Patrick Caron, Managing Director, Internal Trade Secretariat, T: 204-987-8094 or email:

Biographical Notes – Appellate Panel Members

Peter Kirby, has practiced international trade law and arbitration for over twenty years with Fasken in Montreal. He is called to the bars of Québec, Ontario, Massachusetts and New York. He earned his common and civil law degrees at McGill, along with a BA in Economics from Concordia, and a post-graduate Diplôme d’études approfondies in Public International Law from the University of Montpellier in France.

Milos Barutciski, co-chairs the International Trade and Investment Group at Bennett Jones LLP. He has represented corporate, institutional and government clients in matters relating to international trade law, international dispute settlement and other aspects of international business regulation, including NAFTA, CETA, the WTO Agreements and investment treaties. He routinely represents Canadian and international businesses in relation to economic regulatory matters in Canada and internationally. Mr. Barutciski is a member of the Executive Board of the International Chamber of Commerce (Paris), a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation, a past-President of the International Law Association (London), and a past chair of the Canadian Bar Association’s International Law Section. Fluently bilingual in English and French, Mr. Barutciski has published and lectured extensively in Canada and abroad, and has testified before federal and provincial Parliamentary Committees on matters relating to international economic regulation. He was called to the Bars of Ontario and Quebec in 1987.

Debra Steger, is the Hyman Soloway Chair in Business and Trade Law and Full Professor at the University of Ottawa, Faculty of Law. She was the first Director of the Appellate Body Secretariat of the World Trade Organization. During the Uruguay Round, she was the Senior Negotiator for the Government of Canada responsible for Dispute Settlement and the Establishment of the World Trade Organization as well as the Principal Legal Counsel for all of the WTO agreements. She has served as General Counsel of the Canadian International Trade Tribunal and practised international trade, investment and competition law with law firms in Canada. She has been appointed to dispute settlement panels in the WTO, the NAFTA, and the Agreement on Internal Trade. She is called to the Bar of Ontario, and has an LL.M. from the University of Michigan, an LL.B. from the University of Victoria, and a B.A. from the University of British Columbia.