BC and Alberta trade dispute giving British Columbians a hangover


Stewart and his party laid blame for the unprecedented escalation between the provinces on B.C. NDP Premier John Horgan.

Notley linked the ban to the B.C. government's decision to further review the oil-spill risk of the expansion of the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline from Alberta through B.C., a move that has an adverse impact on the Alberta economy. "If Alberta disagrees they can make that argument in the proper venue, in our court system". But until then, B.C.'s campaign to stop Alberta from exporting our energy products is wrong. We don't take this lightly.

A move that would stall the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

But Horgan can hardly have expected his fellow New Democrat and "old friend" to sit on her hands, when Rachel Notley is facing an uphill fight for re-election a year from now. "B.C. wine producers have huge lobbyists and they spend lots of money on lobbying". But one could search either day's statements in vain for what that might entail in terms of either support or retaliation. "Lana Popham, the minister of agriculture, is reaching out to growers across the Okanagan".

Notley said that the wine industry is important to B.C. but not almost as important as energy is to Alberta and she called on Albertans to consider consuming locals products instead of B.C. wines. Alberta, of course, is going to hit us where it hurts and that's in the pocketbook.

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Examining the wine side of the equation a little more closely, consider that most of the wine produced in British Columbia is directly or indirectly controlled by three large companies: Arterra Wines Canada, headquartered in Mississauga; Andrew Peller Ltd., headquartered in Grimsby, Ont.; Mission Hill/von Mandl Family Estates, a private entity now controlling approximately 10 per cent of the vineyard acreage in the Okanagan Valley, with principal offices in Kelowna, Vancouver and Toronto. It's the part of BC that supports pipelines and strong barrier-free inter-provincial trade.

In response, Horgan said he doesn't intend to respond to any provocation from Alberta. Horgan fears an escalating trade war could distract public and media attention from the rollout of his government's agenda for the year, starting next week in the legislature.

Notley is not only calling for a boycott but is putting an immediate halt to the import of B.C. wine to Alberta through the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Control Board. Alberta should stand down on banning B.C. wine.

Right she was. Ben Stewart, the former B.C. Liberal MLA trying to win back the seat vacated by Christy Clark, was soon out with the appropriate news release.

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

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Voters in environmentally conscious B.C. provided the government in the last election with its biggest beachhead west of Ontario, which Trudeau needs to maintain in the 2019 vote.

That Alberta has announced a ban on the import of British Columbia wine is shocking.

He believes both premiers need to start communicating to resolve their issues, with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau "as a referee".

Not a chance said Horgan.

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