Alberta takes out full-page ads in BC over strained relationship

The war of words has escalated into an interprovincial trade spat that has seen Alberta boycott B.C. wines and call on the federal government to step in and resolve the matter.

While Notley is suspending the retaliatory ban on B.C. wine, she left her options open.

"We believe it is our right to take appropriate measures to protect our environment, economy and our coast from the drastic consequences of a diluted bitumen spill", Horgan said in a move that is expected to infuriate Alberta Premier Rachel Notley and set up a constitutional fight between the two provinces.

Bell says the winery will need to complete a large expansion project within the next couple of years in order to properly supply the Alberta market.

Under that agreement, Alberta could face fines - something Notley has already shrugged off as chump-change compared to the $1.5 billion her province stands to lose annually if B.C. succeeds in killing the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

However, B.C. demands are backed up by American and Canadian scientists who have warned that there are significant gaps and uncertainties in the science related to how to clean up a bitumen spill in water.

The B.C. wine boycott is over and corks are popping all over the Calgary foodie community to celebrate.

According to a release, the province has notified the Alberta government that it is formally requesting consultations under the CFTA regarding Alberta's embargo on the sale of B.C. wine, reported CBC News.

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"I think ultimately Point Five is dead because I'm not even sure that the B.C. Court of Appeal would even agree to render a decision", Notley said in an interview Friday.

The wine institute notes the ban, which has been in place since February 6, is "severely harming" B.C. wineries and grape growers, many of which are small, family-owned operations. "And we are prepared to confirm that right in the courts".

And B.C.'s wine industry says the retail value of the sector in Alberta is $160 million and approximately 30 per cent of wine sold in Alberta is produced or bottled in B.C.

Notley and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau have made it clear that only Ottawa, not the provinces, has the authority to decide what goes in trans-boundary pipelines.

While the Alberta government isn't a player on the retail side of things, the Alberta Liquor and Gaming Commission (AGLC), an agent of Notley's provincial government, still regulates the sale of alcoholic beverages in that province.

The Alberta boycott of B.C. wine ended Thursday, much to the delight of Calgary's restauranteurs and B.C.'s wine industry.

"It didn't really make a lot of sense to us", Howell said.

"I'm confident that the courts will not give B.C. rights it does not possess under our Constitution", she said.

  • Megan Austin