B.C. Premier John Horgan says he 'will not be distracted' by Alberta wine ban
'I don't think it's in anyone's interest to have duelling premiers'
Speaking on the growing trade war with Alberta this afternoon, B.C. Premier John Horgan says he "will not be distracted" by the neighbouring province's "retaliatory" moves.
On Tuesday, Alberta Premier Rachel Notley announced her province was banning wine imports from B.C., effective immediately.
In response, Horgan said he won't be escalating the conflict.
"I'm not responding in any way other than saying I'll defend our wine industry. I'm here for B.C., not for Alberta," he said.
"I've spoken with the prime minister and the premier of Alberta. I've made it clear to both of them that the interests of British Columbians are my priority, nor will I be distracted by the events happening in other jurisdictions."
"I don't think it's in anyone's interest to have duelling premiers," he added. "Cooler heads on the other side of the Rockies will prevail."
Last week, Horgan's NDP government announced it is looking at rules to limit any increase in the import of diluted bitumen until an independent panel can better analyze whether the system is safe and can adequately deal with a spill disaster — a move that could delay construction on the federally-approved Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion project.
On Wednesday, Horgan said he's within his rights to consult with the people of B.C.
"I understand her passion for Alberta [but] I see no ground for the premier to stand on [in arguing otherwise]," he said.
Notley said the wine boycott "is one good step to waking B.C. up to the fact that they can't attack our industry without a response."
"This action will harm the B.C. wine industry," she said. "Alberta will not stand by and be the only province impacted by another province's refusal to play by the rules."
In 2017, Alberta imported 17.2 million bottles of B.C. wine with an estimated value of $70 million — the equivalent of about 1.4 million cases.
With files from the Canadian Press