Panel to hear trade dispute appeal between the Government of Alberta and Artisan Ales Consulting Inc. on January 25, 2018 in Montréal, Québec

Winnipeg – January 10, 2018 – An Appeal Panel will hold a hearing under the Agreement on Internal Trade (AIT) to hear the appeal from the decision of the dispute between Artisan Ales Consulting Inc. and the government of Alberta regarding mark-ups on out-of-Province beer.

In July 2016 Artisan Ales Consulting Inc. requested that a Person to Government proceeding be initiated in respect to an Alberta measure relating to the mark-up applied to beer imported from other Canadian provinces. In August of 2017 a Panel released a report to the effect that Alberta’s measure in question had impaired internal trade and caused injury and a denial of benefit. In August of 2017 Alberta served notice to appeal the decision.

Under Person-to-Government dispute resolution provisions of the AIT, a Disputing Party may appeal a Panel Report to an Appellate Panel on the grounds that the Panel erred in law, failed to observe a principle of natural justice or acted beyond or refused to exercise its jurisdiction.

The Appeal Panel is comprised of: Peter Kirby (Chair), Milos Barutciski and Debra Steger. The Appeal Panel hearing will begin at 9:30 A.M. on January 25, 2018 and will be held at the Marriott Château Champlain in the Cartier B and C conference rooms, at 1 Place du Canada Montreal, Québec.  The hearing is open to the public. The Appeal Panel shall issue its report within 90 days after the hearing, the report will then be released publicly 30 days following its release to the disputants.

The AIT was an intergovernmental trade agreement signed by Canadian First Ministers in July 1994. Its purpose was 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 was replaced by the Canadian Free Trade Agreement (CFTA) in July 2017. However, the AIT is applicable to this dispute, in accordance with CFTA Article 1014.  Access to the dispute resolution mechanisms of the CFTA is open to governments, individuals and businesses.

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

Biographical Notes – 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.