In its recent budget, the Newfoundland and Labrador government announced it will introduce a tax of 20 cents per litre on sugary drinks, starting on April 1, 2022. This a first in Canada.
So far we know very little about how the tax would work, which products would be affected and how revenues from the tax would be used by the government.
However, when a government commits to taxing a food product – or any product for that matter – it needs to proceed with extreme caution.
Many countries have taxed sugary beverages, with some degree of success. Mexico has become a well-documented soda tax case in recent years. Its per capita consumption of soft drinks is among the highest in the world, and it has high rates of obesity and diabetes.