Toronto, Ontario – The Star.com is reporting that Michael Hassell, a lawyer and co-owner of Barge Craft Beer Distribution, a would-be independent retailer, said Monday he “obtained an external and expert legal opinion” on taking on the Liquor Control Act.
“The prospects of success are not good and it’s going to be too expensive,” Hassell said in an email.
“With a low chance of success and enormous costs, it is not feasible to ask people to fund the litigation. Therefore the court application will not continue,” he said.
Two weeks ago, Hassell had given the provincial government 60 days’ notice of an upcoming legal action before the Ontario Superior Court.
He had hoped the court would strike down the section of an Act dating back to 1927 that gives Brewers Retail — the formal name of the Beer Store — monopoly status as the only private firm allowed to sell beer to the public without brewing it on the premises.
Today the Barge Craft Beer website only reads this:
Barge obtained an external and expert legal opinion on the proposed Court application.
The Court application has a low chance of success and would be extremely expensive.
For these reasons, Barge has decided not to proceed. It is not reasonable to ask people to fund a losing, expensive battle.
To those in the craft beer industry, Barge is now the craft beer retail equivalent of the so-called “Parkdale Brewery”.
An interview was videotaped on Wednesday, January 21st and may air on The Comedy Network, which is probably where Barge belongs.
Cheers to the Great Beer Drinkers of Ontario!