Newfoundland and Labrador says soft drink tax coming in 2022 will be Canada's first

Nfld to tax soft drinks

Newfoundland and Labrador has unveiled details of what it says will be the country's first tax on sugary drinks.

Government officials said today the tax will hike prices on drinks with added sugars by 20 cents a litre beginning in September 2022.

Provincial officials say the tax, expected to raise roughly $9 million a year, will be unique in Canada.

Finance Minister Siobhan Coady says the tax is part of the government’s effort to make Newfoundland and Labrador one of Canada's healthiest provinces by 2031.

But Memorial University professor Atanu Sarkar wonders if the tax will largely be borne by those living in the many Newfoundland and Labrador towns where the water isn't drinkable.

The associate professor of environmental and occupational health notes that bottled water is often more expensive than soft drinks, and if the tax doesn't change that, people in those communities aren't likely to switch.

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