Monday, 10 December, 2018

Alberta to stop importing BC wine effective immediately

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Glenn Montgomery | 11 February, 2018, 05:34

Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil says he's concerned over increasing inter-provincial tensions around the future of the Trans Mountain pipeline.

"[The] prime minister could not have been clearer", Carr said. We have Premier John Horgan representing the province of British Columbia and, of course, first Stephen Harper and then Prime Minister [Justin] Trudeau representing the interests of Canada.

Warkentin hopes Trudeau will now "take action" and strengthening federal backing for the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain oil pipeline.

Kinder Morgan Canada is hoping to move ahead with construction on the project, which would almost triple capacity on the existing pipeline to 890,000 barrels per day.

"I understand her passion for Alberta [but] I see no ground for the premier to stand on [in arguing otherwise]", he said.

The NDP minister of agriculture, Lana Popham, briefly indicated a possible response Tuesday when reporters caught up with her during a previously scheduled tour of Okanagan wineries.

"We stand with our wine industry", he said.

Notley herself drew attention to the non-coincidence during her news conference: "There is, I believe, a byelection in Kelowna right now".

"I don't think it's in anyone's interest to have duelling premiers", he added.

The fight over Alberta oil coming to British Columbia has now escalated into a wine war. And that's my only focus in the days, weeks and months ahead.

"Alberta doesn't grow grapes, so they don't do wine".

"I think it says a lot for Canada, how bad we are that she's using those words "we're banning the import of British Columbia wine" just as if to say 'we're banning the import of American wine, or French wine or any other kind of wine".

Horgan says he has no plans, at this point, to meet with Kinder Morgan President Ian Anderson until the courts return with a decision about the project.

The premier also says he's not going to retaliate and won't fall into Alberta's trade dispute.

The B.C. Wine Institute responded to Premier Notley's announcement with an open letter to its members, calling the boycott, "disturbing". "Alberta will not stand by and be the only province impacted by another province's refusal to play by the rules".

While the measure might seem to make sense as a strike-back strategy in the ongoing pipeline dispute between the two provinces, the tactic comes across as rather petty when viewed with an objective eye. Not Alberta, not BC and not Canada. "We're reviewing our options and we'll take action when appropriate", he said. The opposition to this pipeline is deep, especially in the Lower Mainland and on Vancouver Island, just as it would be in Alberta if this same thing was being attempted by the federal government.

"If Alberta disagrees they can make that argument in the proper venue, in our court system", he said.

"Access to these wines is essential to us, as we are able to support their efforts directly and help build the sort of food community that lies at the centre of why we even exist as a restaurant". "It's time for Ottawa to step up and assert its authority to build infrastructure that is in the larger national interest".

Notley's trip to BC was an image rehab trip for her, not a pipeline sales pitch for the people of Alberta.

Other politicians are speaking up about the dispute. "This should not be about pitting BC businesses against Alberta businesses".

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