Alberta has thrown the next punch in the pipeline battle with British Columbia. Premier Rachel Notley announced Tuesday the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission has put an immediate stop to the import of B.C. wines.
“I know a lot of Albertans who love B.C. wine. Quite frankly, I’m one of them,” she says. “Just like I know British Columbians who love to drive their cars, fly in planes, and heat their homes using Alberta energy products.”
Notley is responding to B.C.’s call last week for more review of the oil spill risk from the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. Alberta has already suspended talks to buy B.C. electricity.
The province imported 17.2 million bottles of B.C. wine in 2017, which works out to roughly $70 million paid to wineries in the province. Notley says the decision to halt imports wasn’t taken lightly.
“We know that when that free trade of goods is impeded, it doesn’t help Canada’s ability to function as an economic unit; we get that, but the reality is that for too long Alberta has been the province that suffers the consequences when other provinces don’t do that.”
Notley hopes the tough stance forces B.C. to back down and the federal government to step up. In the meantime, she encourages Albertans to make a choice the next time they order a glass of wine.
“Think of our energy workers, think of your neighbours, think of our community, think of our province, and maybe choose some terrific Alberta craft beer instead.”