Tax on sugary drinks begins in Newfoundland and Labrador, though not all are on board

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ST. JOHN'S, N.L. — Beginning today, consumers in Newfoundland and Labrador will be paying 20 cents more per litre for sugar-sweetened drinks.

The tax will apply to beverages including sweetened pop, fruit-flavoured juices and teas, as well as sports and energy drinks.

Chocolate milk is exempt from the tax, as are infant formulas, yogurt drinks and diet drinks containing artificial sweeteners.

The provincial government says the tax is aimed at improving health outcomes, and officials have said they expect it to bring in roughly $9 million a year.

Jason Carter owns a convenience store just outside St. John's, and he said in an interview the implementation of the tax has been confusing and costly.

He wonders why the provincial government isn't also taxing bags of sugar or sweetened alcoholic beverages if there are concerns about how much sugar Newfoundlanders and Labradorians consume.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 1, 2022.

The Canadian Press