BC premier won't retaliate against Alberta's wine boycott



Notley, in a video posted Wednesday, said the neighbouring province's effort to delay or block the project with reviews, consultations and studies is a constitutional violation that threatens Canada's social safety net, jobs and response to climate change.

"I hope that you will consider the severity and effect of the actions your minister has proposed and that you will accept my offer to meet with you to discuss these and any other matters relating to the operations of our company in B.C".

On Tuesday, Alberta's Premier Rachel Notley announced her province will immediately boycott all imports of wines from B.C.

Many saw the move as an attack on Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain pipeline, a project that already acquired federal approval in November 2016.

Barely had she floated the threat to Alberta beef, when the B.C. Liberals fired back that Popham's "shockingly bad idea" would end up hurting B.C. producers.

Although, the store carries a wide selection of wines like Alberta fruit wines and Ontario wines, "but majority of my wines come from B.C. for Canada", he said.

Horgan said Notley's tactics won't get in the way of his government's Throne Speech next week.

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"I don't necessarily believe that food security and agricultural sovereignty ... should be used as political bargaining chips".

He's concerned about the long-term implications if the B.C. government retaliates against Alberta.

On Wednesday, Horgan took pains to walk that suggestion back.

"I fail to see how the oil industry and the wine industry are equivalent rivals", said Evan Watson, owner of the upscale cocktail bar and eatery Clementine, on Wednesday.

Notley's call was echoed by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce.

"I would suggest that issuing a press release, talking about our intentions to consult with British Columbians, it's not provocative, it's not starting anything".

Ian Anderson said Kinder Morgan is aware that the plan to expand the pipeline to carry oil-sands crude from Alberta to British Columbia could become untenable the longer it takes to obtain permits, but he stopped short of saying the company is close to abandoning the major expansion.

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"The B.C. wine industry has worked hard to build a positive relationship and partnership with Alberta, particularly in the wine, culinary and tourism sectors, including having collaborated on multiple campaigns directly with the AGLC (Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission)".

Morgan says he will have no problem making the ban permanent, if it comes to that.

The B.C. side is expected to lay out the Horgan government's rationale for its proposed move against Alberta oil. "The announced escalation of retaliatory trade measures will leave businesses of all sizes, their owners and their employees caught in the crossfire", it said. "That said, investor patience is a whole different matter".

"I want to resolve this, but I'm not going to be distracted".

"So this sort of ban is not going to affect us - other than the individual inclination of the Albertan who says, 'Oh, I'm not going to buy any B.C. wine'".

Because the announcement was only hours old, McWatters did not yet know how the wine industry would counteract the ban, but fight they will, given how important Alberta sales are. "I do think there is definitely a role for the federal government to play in resolving this dispute and dealing directly with British Columbia", Anderson said. "I don't think that is a fair thing".

According to the association, as much as 90 per cent of B.C. cattle are exported out of province, and while some goes to the USA, the vast majority goes through Alberta.

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