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

UPDATED: Almost 1,200 people allowed to return home in Kootenay-Boundary as floods dry up

Officials hope to have all 3,000 people back in their homes by Monday night

VIDEO: As floodwaters recede, crews assess the damage to Grand Forks’ downtown

More than four dozen firefighters and building inspectors came out to help

VIDEO: Canadian Forces members begin helping out flooded B.C. communities

Three-hundred personnel in B.C. in some off hardest hit cities

Residents sandbag Ruckle in advance of predicted Saturday flood

Residents were allowed back in for 12 hours on Thursday.

Riverside warnings issues for Grand Forks properties

The RDKB has not issued orders to leave, but owners should be aware.

VIDEO: Canadian Forces help flood-ravaged Grand Forks residents heal

Sgt. Bradley Lowes says the military is used to dealing with traumatic times

B.C. Lions bring back 6-time all-star offensive lineman Jovan Olafioye

He was acquired by the Montreal Alouettes last year.

Whitecaps rally for 2-2 draw with FC Dallas

Vancouver climbed out of a two-nil hole to tie FC Dallas 2-2

B.C. VIEWS: Making sense of climate policy

Flood and fire predictions have poor track record so far

Chilliwack Chiefs moving on to RBC Cup final after thrilling win over Ottawa

Kaden Pickering scored the winning goal in the 3rd period as Chilliwack won their semi-final 3-2.

Wellington Dukes pull off epic upset of Wenatchee at RBC Cup

The Dukes are off to the championship game after downing the Wild 2-1 Saturday at Prospera Centre.

Canada to face U.S. for bronze at world hockey championship

Canada was looking to play in the gold medal game for a fourth straight year, but saw 3-2 loss

Searchers for Vancouver Island father turn focus to Cowichan River

Cowichan SAR joined by many other SAR groups, volunteers now determined to find missing man

Vacationers urged to check for stowaway bats that could carry deadly disease

‘White-nose syndrome’ has killed millions of bats in North America, but hasn’t arrived in B.C. yet

Most Read