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Supreme Court of Canada won't hear appeal of Quebec maple syrup 'rebel'

Angele Grenier Image copyright Andreane Williams
Image caption Angele Grenier has been fighting the Federation for years to freely sell her syrup

The grandmother defying Quebec's maple syrup industry has been denied an appeal by the Supreme Court of Canada.

Angele Grenier is facing $300,000 ($222,000, £172,000) fines for selling syrup to other provinces.

On Thursday, the court declined to hear her appeal and the appeal of another independent maple syrup producer.

Ms Grenier has been dubbed a "rebel" in the media for fighting what she calls the maple syrup "monopoly" controlled by the Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers.

The Federation, which is an association of maple syrup producers backed by provincial legislation, controls nearly every aspect of maple production in the province.

It assigns quotas to the province's 13,500 farmers, charges administrative fees, buys their syrup and then resells the syrup to licensed wholesalers.

Spokesperson Caroline Cyr told the BBC in an email that the Federation is "very pleased with the decision" of the Supreme Court as it upholds the organisation's legitimacy as a collective.

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Media caption'It becomes illegal syrup': Battling the maple syndicate

Ms Grenier was fined hundreds of thousands of dollars by the Federation for selling her products to New Brunswick directly. Her lawyer argued that Quebec law should not apply to her, since her sales were outside the province. The Quebec Court of Appeal ruled against her, and without a Supreme Court appeal her case is finished.

The court did not give a reason for its decision.

"I did not cultivate drugs, it was just maple syrup!" she told the BBC in an email after she heard the court would not hear her appeal. "My big fear is it will set an example to scare off other producers by giving me a very high fine and making me go bankrupt."

Ms Cyr said the Federation will continue to try and negotiate with Ms Grenier, and that she is still welcome to apply for the right to sell her maple syrup under their system.

The Federation has argued it has done much for the province's maple syrup industry. By pooling maple syrup output and putting a cap on how much farmers can produce, the Federation is able to keep the price stable.

It's helped turn a provincial cottage industry into big business, with Quebec supplying up to 80% of the world's maple syrup.

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