Wednesday, 20 June, 2018

Alberta government blocks import of BC wine over pipeline dispute

Alberta government blocks import of BC wine over pipeline dispute Alberta government blocks import of BC wine over pipeline dispute
Melissa Porter | 08 February, 2018, 06:50

Before British Columbians panic about the potential erosion of this economic value to the B.C. economy and to important regional centres such asKelowna and Penticton, consider that the estimated annual revenue from B.C. wine sales is $360-million, of which Alberta estimates it purchases $70-million (20 per cent).

She's also anxious whether the ban - and calls for a boycott of B.C. wines in Alberta - will affect the Okanagan's tourism industry.

She was reacting to yet another stalling tactic by the B.C. government - a plan by minister of environment and climate change strategy George Heyman to impose more regulations on bitumen transportation, including "restrictions on the increase of diluted bitumen transportation until the behaviour of spilled bitumen can be better understood and there is certainty regarding the ability to adequately mitigate spills".

Prior to Notley's letter Tweetfest, Boundary-Similkameen MLA Linda Larson, who represents several wine regions in the South Okanagan and Similkameen, fired out a Tweet of her own.

Karen Graham is the B.C. -based founder and principal of Wine Drops, offering perspectives on policy and business matters in the Canadian wine industry.

Those are some of the words from a new video posted by Alberta Premier Rachel Notley on Twitter after Tuesday's announcement that BC wine would be blocked from coming into the province.

While the dispute between B.C. and Alberta simmered Wednesday, reaction continued to boil.

"It feels like we're an easy target because everyone likes wine", she said.

In response, Horgan said he doesn't intend to respond to any provocation from Alberta.

"I can only hope our politicians come to a resolution and this potential trade war doesn't grow", she says.

But he flinches at the prospect Canada could end its dependence on the United States and send its oil to markets that would pay a higher price - creating needed employment and billions of dollars in revenue for governments at all levels.

"I think if anything it's a shame for the people of Alberta because they're missing out on some really lovely wine and as an alternative they're probably going to be buying worldwide which doesn't help anyone in Canada".

The BC premier continues to insist his previous comments were never meant to be provocative and he told reporters he and Notley have a good, working relationship. She has called B.C.'s attempt to hinder the Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion an unconstitutional attempt to get around federal approval of the project. "Their passion and dedication to their craft is something we have been proud to share with our customers over the years and it hurts us to know that they are the ones being punished by this misguided decision".

"We need to stop this wine war, as it doesn't benefit anyone and only threatens more jobs", said Ben Stewart, the opposition B.C. Liberals' by-election candidate for Kelowna-West, at the heart of the province's wine country. "Not almost as important as the energy industry is to Alberta and Canada, but important nonetheless". "The announced escalation of retaliatory trade measures will leave businesses of all sizes, their owners and their employees caught in the crossfire", it said.

Guyon had previously worked on "Coule pas chez nous", a campaign that saw breweries join up to brew a Session IPA with ingredients from Quebec in an effort to stand up against industrial projects like the Energy East and the Line 9 pipelines.