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Shuswap winery toasts Alberta's decision to lift BC wine ban

26 February 2018

Premier Horgan announced his provincial government would be moving forward with consultation around four bitumen spill safeguards while referring only to the courts the outstanding issue around B.C.'s constitutional right to protect B.C.'s coast.

Alberta imposed the ban earlier this month in retaliation against B.C. for its attempt to block Kinder Morgan's $7.4-billion Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

He added that his government had been in talks with the federal government on the legality of restricting oil flows to B.C., but he said: "They were disinclined to join us".

"This is meant to have cooler heads prevail", B.C. Premier John Horgan said Thursday.

BC said then it wanted a further review of the risks associated with a pipeline expansion that would carry that diluted bitumen from the Alberta Tarsands to Burnaby and from there to tankers creeping down Burrard Inlet through Vancouver Harbour and along the southern tip of Vancouver Island to the Pacific.

Notley has since threatened that more retaliatory actions were being prepared and formed a task force that includes a former deputy prime minister and former New Brunswick premier to evaluate methods to force B.C.to back down.

Prodan said people in Alberta spend about $70 million annually on B.C. wines, which is about 20 per cent of the province's total wine sales.

"The prospect of losing Alberta, even in the short term, is not good at all, and that's why we reluctantly take this action".

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Notley and the federal government labelled the move unconstitutional.

The Kelowna Chamber is pleased that the Alberta Premier has made a decision to lift Alberta's short-lived ban on BC Wine imports and is optimistic both Premiers shelve any further mention or consideration of "boycotts" on any products. But on the fifth, his government will wait for a ruling from the courts.

Both Notley and the Trudeau government expressed confidence the courts will find B.C. can't impinge on federal authority in this area. "They're our family next door and they support us with tourism", he said.

"It's our view that this dispute engages questions that should be considered by every jurisdiction in the federation", he said.

The issue has always been a thorn in the side of beer, wine and liquor producers Canada-wide, because provincial governments control what booze can be sold in their jurisdiction.

"It felt like this was going to affect local business owners and consumers more than anything else", she said.

But she also offered an olive branch of sorts to B.C. When asked is she herself would be sipping B.C. wine anytime soon, she said: "It's possible there may be B.C. wine soon again in our house".

Shuswap winery toasts Alberta's decision to lift BC wine ban