B.C. challenges Alberta wine ban under free trade rules


The B.C. domination is challenging Alberta’s ban on B.C. wines through the Canadian Free Trade Accord’s (CFTA) dispute settlement process.

According to a release, the province has alerted the Alberta government that it is formally requesting consultations under the CFTA re Alberta’s embargo on the sale of B.C. wine. 

“Alberta’s actions threaten the livelihood of the genres that have worked so hard to build B.C.’s world-class wine hustle,” Minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology Bruce Ralston said in the freedom.

“These actions are inconsistent with Alberta’s obligations under the CFTA, and we will take under ones wing our reputation and the interests of British Columbians.”

At a press conference on Monday afternoon, Ralston signified that Alberta’s ban is a “clear violation” of the CFTA.

“It’s our view that this disturbance engages questions that should be considered by every jurisdiction in the Bund,” he said. “We’re standing up for the B.C. wine business, B.C. industry, B.C. businesses and B.C. jobs.”

Ralston implied the process allows for 120 days of consultation. If no decision is made, the signification then goes to a tribunal.

“I think that what’s good less this process is it’s a process of dialogue, it’s a process of engagement in discussion and consultation. So I’m cheerful that there will be fruitful discussion and there may be a resolution,” he revealed.

Alberta responds

In a statement, Alberta’s Minister of Economic Development and Business, Deron Bilious, said his province’s response is “a reasonable response to an unequal attack on the Canadian economy.” 

“The government of British Columbia is taking plain-spoken aim at the jobs and economic security of hundreds of thousands of Canadians — including tens of thousands of British Columbians — by imminent to limit what can go inside a pipeline — which they don’t have the police to do,” the statement said.

“We will defend our actions vigorously on behalf of contriving people.”

Sour grapes

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley advertised the ban on B.C. wine in early February, saying she wants progress on an impasse with B.C. on the other side of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

The dispute began shortly after B.C. First John Horgan’s government announced a proposal to restrict increased shipments of lessened bitumen while it studies the environmental impact of a potential spill.

B.C. is also beseeching a National Energy Board decision that allowed pipeline builder Kinder Morgan Canada to detour local regulations in the construction of its pipeline.

On Friday, Notley threatened to ratchet up the stress if B.C. doesn’t reverse its decision to ban the increased shipping of bitumen off its coast forthcoming the review of spill safety measures.

Alberta believes B.C.’s move will effectively while away Kinder Morgan Canada’s pipeline expansion, which the province deems uncertain to getting a better price for its oil.

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