Thursday, 22 February, 2018

Sour grapes: Alberta to stop importing BC wine over Kinder Morgan feud

BC wineries feel like 'easy target' after Alberta bans imports in pipeline feud Premier calls for clarity and resolution on Trans Mountain pipeline
Lillian Steele | 08 February, 2018, 13:13

Premier Rachel Notley announced Tuesday that the province would no longer import B.C. wines, hitting an industry that Albertans spent $72 million on past year.

The B.C. NDP needs the support of the Green Party's three MLAs to stay in power and they're not happy these days because of Horgan's approval of the Site C hydro project and his recent support of liquefied natural gas. He maintains his focus right now is on this month's budget.

"What we are looking for and what I've communicated clearly to Ottawa and to [the Prime Minister's] office is we need them to continue to stand behind the jurisdiction that they have on this project, the national interest determination that they made, however that is necessarily actioned", Kinder Morgan Canada President Ian Anderson told BNN on Wednesday.

"Here in British Columbia right now, we are not set up currently to feed and finish the number of cattle we produce to the end, and we don't have a federally inspected packing facility", Boon explained.

Notley's boycott, on its face, seems poorly targeted at the wrong people, but it's actually quite smart, politically speaking, and it pains me to say that.

The NDP minister of agriculture, Lana Popham, briefly indicated a possible response Tuesday when reporters caught up with her during a previously scheduled tour of Okanagan wineries.

Given the unique regulatory circumstances of alcohol, which are now being challenged at the Supreme Court, Tombe points out that beer imports from B.C. would be another obvious target for retaliation.

The project is also moving toward resolution of all remaining legal challenges before federal and provincial courts, with decisions expected in the first half of the year, Anderson said.

"Certainly, I would hope we have seen the end of the back and forth". "I don't believe it's in anyone's interest to have duelling premiers". "It's well-known that we share the same political flag". "If Alberta disagrees they can make that argument in the proper venue, in our court system".

If the point of the British Columbia government's continuing tantrums against bitumen pipelines is to get proponent Kinder Morgan Canada Ltd.to quit in frustration, it's not working.

Notley's trip to BC was an image rehab trip for her, not a pipeline sales pitch for the people of Alberta.

During Notley's Tuesday announcement, she stated the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission would immediately halt all imports of BC wine. What initially started as a pipeline dispute between the two provinces appears to have turned into an all out trade war, with small businesses from both provinces and Alberta consumers as the newest casualty.

The two other Western provinces expressed concern about the trade dispute between neighbours. But until then, B.C.'s campaign to stop Alberta from exporting our energy products is wrong.

"I don't blame Alberta for taking retaliatory measures".

During question period this week, Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr defended the decision to build Trans Mountain based on a sound review process, followed a few minutes later by McKenna "eviscerating the process" before she introduces the overhaul legislation, she noted.

Anderson said he sent a letter this week to Horgan about his concerns for the province's plans and its implications for the $7.4-billion Trans Mountain project that would nearly triple the capacity of the pipeline.

Trudeau said talks continue out of public sight with the provinces.

"I think that if there is [an] ongoing dispute between Alberta and British Columbia there is definitely a role for the federal government to step in and help resolve the dispute".

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