Wine war picks on small family owned operations: BC wine advocate

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How dare we Albertans take a swipe at such a fine B.C. industry!

Last week, B.C. Premier John Horgan's NDP government announced it is looking at rules to limit any increase in the import of diluted bitumen until an independent panel can better analyze whether the system is safe and if it can adequately deal with a spill disaster.

Horgan said he's within his rights to consult with the people of B.C.

"The government doesn't own any of them and so, any liquor licensees, whether it's a retail store, whether it's a bar or a restaurant, that sort of thing", she said. They're farmers and entrepreneurs.

Q: What you call prudent, Premier Notley - whom you say you respect - calls a violation of the Constitution, that the development has already been approved by the appropriate federal agencies and the B.C. government is over-reaching its provincial powers.

"By boycotting B.C. wines in Alberta, our family-owned winery is going to be hurt financially as well as other B.C. wineries".

Alberta has yet to receive any word Thursday afternoon from British Columbia over the pipeline spat that has escalated into a wine boycott.

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"I honestly wish it did not have to be this way", she said. She has also threatened that after wine, Alberta may look to stop BC craft beer from heading east.

"I was a supporter of the pipeline coming from Western Canada to the east", he said.

Jason Ocenas with Township 7 Wine said his products are sold in liquor stores and shipped directly to customers in Alberta, and finding another market will be hard.

While the dispute between B.C. and Alberta simmered Wednesday, reaction continued to boil.

That shouldn't have to be the case, Ocenas said.

Despite Notley's ban on B.C. wine announced on Tuesday, Hynes-Dawson said, the AGLC "doesn't dictate or determine what should be brought in and what shouldn't be, as orders come in to us, we order it and ship it back out".

"I think if anything it's a shame for the people of Alberta because they're missing out on some really lovely wine and as an alternative they're probably going to be buying global which doesn't help anyone in Canada". The same way we drink their rye and eat their beef, we celebrate what they do and they celebrate what we do.

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Albertans spent $72 million on B.C. wine a year ago but that pales in comparison to the $1.5 billion annually in benefits that a completed Kinder Morgan would bring to the Alberta treasury. We now have to sell at a discount of as much as one-third because without a pipeline it's hard for us to get oil to potential worldwide customers.

"It's mostly symbolic, but I'm certain that B.C. producers aren't liking seeing this and hearing this".

It comes with an estimated $70 million blow to B.C. wineries.

"At the end of the day that's secondary to my obligation to the people British Columbia and that's my ultimate focus and my only focus in the days and weeks and months ahead".

Just because Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is refusing to wade publicly into the emerging pipeline-induced trade war between British Columbia and Alberta, that doesn't mean things aren't happening out of the public eye, his environment minister suggested Wednesday.

"To have this happen with our friends and colleagues across the border in Alberta is a complete surprise".

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