Alberta Premier Rachel Notley says the province will stop importing wine from British Columbia.
It’s the latest move in a growing dispute over the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion that would carry more Alberta oilsands bitumen to the B.C. coast.
B.C. has said it will restrict increased shipments of bitumen while it further studies the effectiveness of spill response and cleanup.
Notley says Alberta currently imports about 17 million bottles of wine worth $70 million annually from B.C. wineries.
“This is one good step to waking B.C. up to the fact that they can’t attack our industry without a response from us,” Notley said Tuesday following a meeting with her cabinet.
“I honestly wish it did not have to be this way.” she said. “We don’t take this lightly. Albertans didn’t want or invite this fight.”
Notley also said the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission will step up enforcement of direct sales from B.C. wineries to consumers in her province.
“I’m also encouraging all Albertans next time you’re thinking about ordering 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.”
Last week, Notley said Alberta was suspending further talks on power purchase agreements with B.C. worth up to $500 million annual to that province’s coffers.
Notley has called B.C.’s attempt to hinder the Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion an unconstitutional attempt to get around federal approval of the project. The expansion would triple the capacity of the pipeline.
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