BC premier says he won't escalate trade dispute with Alberta over pipeline

BC premier says he won't escalate trade dispute with Alberta over pipeline

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley announced the wine ban Tuesday in response to the B.C. government's ongoing opposition to the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, which would increase the transport of bitumen from the oilsands to the B.C. coast.

"I will not be distracted from that objective while the government of Alberta chooses to take retaliatory trade actions against our province because we've chosen to talk to British Columbians about we can protect BC's interests".

Horgan said Notley's tactics won't get in the way of his government's Throne Speech next week. "I think there's a role there for them", he said.

"We can do that by boycotting BC wine", tweeted Notely on Tuesday.

The boycott over B.C. wines is being felt in the Gas City.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Thursday in Ottawa that he is working with the Alberta and B.C. governments and will stand up for getting the pipeline built, but did not say what exactly he will do to make that happen.

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In 2017, Alberta imported 17.2 million bottles of B.C. wine with an estimated value of $70 million - the equivalent of about 1.4 million cases.

He said that he doesn't sell much B.C. wine, but most of his liquor and wine is imported from overseas through the Port of Vancouver during the winter months from October to April.

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

"When marijuana is legalized in Canada, and it's possible for people of Alberta to by British Columbia-produced marijuana, I'm pretty sure the calls for boycotts of each others' goods and services from the other provinces are going to be gone".

Monte Creek Ranch Winery just outside of Kamloops has been shipping wine to Alberta for two years and confirmed to CFJC Today the ban went into effect for them Wednesday morning.

"Albertans didn't want or invite this fight", she said. Alberta, of course, is going to hit us where it hurts and that's in the pocketbook.

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In truth, when any sort of logic or calculus is applied to this debate, not building Kinder Morgan's pipeline would do far more for climate goals and spill prevention than any amount of federal money or horse-trading with Alberta ever could. "When it comes to our rights, my rights as the premier to consult with British Columbians about putting in place protections for our environment and our economy, I see no ground for Premier [Notley] to stand on".

While Trudeau has not yet responded to Scheer's demand that he turn his plane around because of the fighting provinces, he has regularly asserted the government's commitment to the Trans Mountain pipeline - even amid boos at a recent town hall at Nanaimo.

Trudeau refused to wade publicly into the dispute on February 7, saying talks continue behind closed doors with the provinces.

Most in the province, however, agreed that wineries made for an unfortunate target, having nothing to do with bitumen or oil tanker battles.

But he says he expects the federal government to help solve the spat between the provinces. "Not almost as important as energy industry is to Alberta and Canada, but important nonetheless".

Both the National Energy Board and the federal cabinet approved the Trans Mountain pipeline project in 2016 after balancing all relevant considerations and ultimately determining that it was in Canada's national interest.

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