Notley uncorks BC support for wine ban

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The premier said she understands this will impact some small businesses, but until BC stops its tactics outside provincial jurisdiction, it's a necessary measure. "If Alberta disagrees they can make that argument in the proper venue, in our court system".

Tempers continue to flair between BC Premier John Horgan and Alberta Premier Rachel Notley.

Maybe so - but when it comes to the Trans Mountain pipeline dispute, the no-drama ship has officially sailed.

Mike Burns, beverage director for the Calgary-based Teatro Group says, "Losing that source of local products will affect our ability to cater to the extensive tourist business our locations attract - many of whom have not tried B.C. wines". "Lana Popham, the minister of agriculture, is reaching out to growers across the Okanagan".

"I will not be distracted by that objective while the government of Alberta continues to take retaliatory trade actions against our province because we have chosen to talk to British Columbians about how we can protect our interests", he said. "It's well known that premier Notley and I have been friends in the past. Unfortunately now, we are seeing that price being paid by wineries in British Columbia".

As a B.C. wine lover, she said she regrets the impact the decision will have on B.C.'s wine industry.

On Wednesday the premier rode to her rescue, as he did last fall during Popham's botched handling of the fish farming file.

"It's not the government's intention to respond in any way to the provocation", he said, adding he hopes "cooler heads on the other side of the Rockies will prevail".

He also ruled out any other form of retaliation.

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But he added the NDP government will not back down from its fight to nix the $7.4-billion project that would triple the pipeline's capacity to transport crude from Alberta to the B.C. coast, nor will it end its support for the B.C. wine industry in what has become a trade war between the two provinces.

Notley herself drew attention to the non-coincidence during her news conference: "There is, I believe, a byelection in Kelowna right now. But it certainly speaks to the severity of the issue to, in particular, Premier Notley and Alberta producers".

"If we become a have-not province, we won't have to worry about selling B.C. wines".

Advocates had been carefully watching negotiations on the North American Free Trade agreement, concerned a new deal could mean for access to American markets, Prodan said. Most prominent was Green Party leaders - and B.C. NDP kingmaker - Andrew Weaver who bought three bottles of red, certified local by the B.C. Vintners Quality Alliance (VQA). Notley said the decision to halt imports wasn't taken lightly. "Not almost as important as energy industry is to Alberta and Canada, but important nonetheless".

"I have had discussions with the Prime Minister".

Not a chance said Horgan.

Meanwhile, senior federal and B.C. provincial officials were scheduled to meet in Vancouver on Thursday to discuss the issue.

That review threatens the expansion of a pipeline from northern Alberta through the Pacific that has already been approved by the federal government.

Trudeau's positive words of support for the Trans Mountain pipeline are all well and good, but at some point he will have to do more, said Kinder Morgan CEO Ian Anderson.