Canada quarrel pits British Columbia against Alberta in battle of oil and wine

Alberta bans wine imports from British Columbia amid a brewing dispute over a pipeline enlargement

2121 - Canada quarrel pits British Columbia against Alberta in battle of oil and wine

Gewurztraminer grapes at Greata Ranch winery in Summerland, British Columbia, Canada.
Photograph: Murphy_Shewchuk/Getty Images/iStockphoto

Relations between two Canadian provinces have turned vinegary in an escalating row over oil and wine.

The oil-rich area of Alberta introduced a ban on wine imports from neighbouring British Columbia amid the brewing dispute over a contentious pipeline enlargement.

The quarrel started final week when British Columbia’s provincial authorities referred to as for additional research of the chance of spills if the Kinder Morgan pipeline is expanded from Alberta to Vancouver’s shoreline.


In response, Alberta’s premier, Rachel Notley, walked away from negotiations to buy electrical energy from BC – a yearly deal price $400m.

Then late on Tuesday, Notley instructed the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission to instantly halt all imports of British Columbia wines. “The wine industry is very important to BC. Not nearly as important as the energy industry is to Alberta and Canada, but important nonetheless,” stated Notley at a press convention.

British Columbia’s premier, John Horgan – like Notley a member of the leftwing New Democratic social gathering – referred to as the ban “unfair”.

“Our government has every right to consult with British Columbians on the best possible measures to protect our lands and waters from the potential impacts of diluted bitumen spills,” Horgan stated. “Our consultation on proposed new regulations hasn’t even begun, but Alberta has seen fit to take measures to impact BC business.”

Vintners in the area are additionally bitter on the thought. “We are shocked that the Alberta premier and government are aggressively boycotting BC wineries over a yet-to-be-determined British Columbia government policy in a different sector,” stated Miles Prodan, president of the BC Wine Institute, which represents 276 wineries.

He added that the potential price of the ban is near $127m – double Notley’s estimate. Alberta is a key marketplace for British Columbia wines – nearly 95% of all Canadian wines bought in Alberta shops come from its western neighbour.

For Albertans puzzling over their subsequent drink, Notley had some recommendation. “Think of our energy workers. Think of your neighbours. Think of our community. Think about our province, and maybe choose some terrific Alberta craft beer instead.”

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