Edmonton

Wildrose Party wades into Alberta vs. Saskatchewan beer battle

In the orange corner stands Rachel Notley, in the green, Brad Wall, and now wading into the beer-fueled scuffle between the two western premiers comes the Wildrose Party.

Opposition party accuses premier of 'tearing down Alberta's relationship with Saskatchewan'

(CBC)

In the orange corner stands Rachel Notley, in the green, Brad Wall, and now wading into the beer-fueled scuffle between the two western premiers comes the Wildrose Party.

On Wednesday, Alberta's official opposition issued a news release that accused Premier Rachel Notley of "tearing down Alberta's relationship with Saskatchewan."

The comment came after Notley chided Wall for orchestrating a "political drive-by" with his criticism of Alberta's new beer pricing plan.

We need to do all that we can to make sure we are growing our industries here at home, but that doesn't mean ignoring phone calls from provincial neighbors.- Prasad Panda

As of Aug. 5, Alberta will mark up each litre of beer by $1.25, regardless of where it is brewed, meaning small Alberta and Saskatchewan brewers will be impacted.

Notley said grants will be available to craft brewers in Alberta.

Wildrose critic Prasad Panda said he is concerned that Notley's rebuke of Wall will hurt Alberta's economy.

"We need to do all that we can to make sure we are growing our industries here at home, but that doesn't mean ignoring phone calls from provincial neighbours," said Panda.

'I will not be lectured'

Wall said the beer markup will hurt small Saskatchewan brewers, and asked the Alberta government to "reconsider this ill-conceived policy."

Notley responded by saying that grants will be made for small Alberta brewers, and said if Wall had an issue he should call her instead of just criticizing.

Rachel Notley accused Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall of doing a "political drive-by." (CBC)

Notley said she will "not be lectured" about efforts her government "might take in the future, in order to support our small brewers, our economic diversification, our workers and our industries."

"My experience over the last 13 months is that when there's a matter, pick up the phone and talk to your colleagues," Notley said Tuesday at the legislature.

"I would suggest that if he (Wall) would actually like to see a solution, that's a better approach."

In a tweet, Wall said his office offered to call Notley.

Potential 'retaliation'

Wildrose Leader Brian Jean said Notley should be trying to "strengthen ties with allies that strongly support our industries."

"Instead, she has spent more energy courting policies and agreements that will chase away jobs and raise power bills than building partnerships with our neighbours in Western Canada."

Premier Brad Wall said that while retaliating would be a last resort, it is still on the table. (CBC)

Earlier in the week, Wall said he won't rule out retaliation, and his province will "have to look at options to help our industry, and also we have to look at if they're going to go ahead with this."

"We'll have to look at Saskatchewan's interests and perhaps that could mean retaliating, but that would be a last resort."

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Mack Lamoureux is a reporter with CBC Edmonton. He's a lover of strange and odd stories. He counts writing about himself in the third person among his least favourite things to do. mack.lamoureux@cbc.ca, @macklamoureux

With files from the Canadian Press

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