Alberta Premier Rachel Notley (Black Press files)

UPDATE: Alberta to stop importing B.C. wine in pipeline feud, premier says

It’s the latest move in a growing dispute over the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley says the province will stop importing wine from B.C., until the province’s NDP government ends its efforts to place restrictions on the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

It’s the latest move in a growing dispute that would carry more Alberta oil sands bitumen to the B.C. coast.

B.C. has said it will restrict increased shipments of bitumen while it further studies the effectiveness of spill response and cleanup, as part of phase two in its oil spill response plan. The Trans Mountain pipeline expansion will triple transportation of oil from 300,000 barrels a day to 900,000.

In an announcement Tuesday, Notley said Alberta currently imports about 17 million bottles of wine worth $70 million annually from B.C. wineries.

She also said the Alberta Liquor and Gaming Commission will step up enforcement of sales from B.C. directly to consumers in her province.

In a series of tweets, Notley claimed Albertans didn’t want or invite this fight.

“… We will not let the Government of BC hold Alberta’s and Canada’s economy hostage and jeopardize the economic security of hundreds of thousands of working families,” she said.

Last week, Notley said Alberta was ending any further talks on a BC Hydo agreement with B.C. that’s valued at an estimated $500 million per year.

Don’t use consumers as pawns: Restaurant Canada

Since the contentious announcement by B.C.’s environment minister George Heyman last week, debate has been sparked outside the political arena.

Last week, a Fort McMurray restaurant owner decided to nix B.C. wines off the wine list at her Italian restaurant, calling on other Alberta establishments to do the same.

But Restaurant Canada is calling out Notley, claiming the decision will punish small businesses and consumers.

“It is using Alberta consumers and B.C. businesses as pawns and dragging them into and pitting them against each other in a provincial trade war,” the organization said in a news release, calling the decision reckless.

According to the British Columbia Wine Institute, Alberta makes up 11 per cent of the BC VQA market.

“As a country, we are trying to strike down domestic and international trade barriers and this decision moves us in the completely wrong direction,” said Mark von Schellwitz, vice president for the company’s western Canada branch.

Black Press Media has put a call into the wine institute for comment.

More to come.


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

FortisBC explains rate change proposal

FortisBC met with customers in Castlegar to explain their new time-of-use rate proposal.

BC BUDGET: New spaces a step to universal child care

Fees reduced for licensed daycare operators

BC BUDGET: NDP cracks down on speculators, hidden ownership

Foreign buyers’ tax extended to Fraser Valley, Okanagan, Vancouver Island

BC BUDGET: Payroll tax replaces medical premiums

Health spending to increase $1.5 billion for drugs, primary care teams

MP Richard Cannings speaks to Castlegar council

Castlegar council also looks at FireSmart grants and free community movies.

VIDEO: Top 10 B.C. budget highlights

The NDP is focusing on childcare, affordable housing and speeding up the elimination of MSP premiums

Yelling vulgar slur at reporter not a crime says judge

Judge rules ‘vulgar’ slur against reporter was not a public disturbance

B.C. runner takes silver at Pan American cross-country championships

Tyler Dozzi’s medal pushes U20 Team Canada to gold finish

UBCO students to get medical cannabis coverage

Kelowna - The pilot project will be implemented in April

BC BUDGET: NDP push for purpose-built rentals in ‘historic’ $1.6B investment

Hundreds of thousands of new low- and middle-income units coming over three years

BC BUDGET: More for wildfire recovery, campsites

NDP government to hire 20 more Conservation Officers this year

BC BUDGET: Liberals blast ‘tax and spend’ plan

Payroll tax, carbon tax increase threaten growth, opposition critics say

Parts of B.C. see record-breaking temperatures in cold snap

Sechelt, Yoho National Park were the chilliest ever Monday

Claim dimissed against RCMP over 2008 B.C. woman’s murder

Mother of Lisa Dudley, shot in her home along with her partner, had alleged negligence

Most Read