John Horgan LNG
(John Horgan/Twitter)

Last week, our Provincial government declared April BC wine month, in a move of peaceful retaliation against Alberta’s boycott on BC wine, brought about by the Kinder-Morgan pipeline dispute.

However the boycott will create a loss of about $70 million to BC wineries, so the Ministry of Jobs, Trade and Technology has announced another move to protect the province’s wine industry.

In a press release on Monday, Bruce Ralston (Minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology) stated that the BC government will go through the Canadian Free Trade Agreement’s (CFTA) dispute settlement process to formally challenge Alberta’s ban on BC wine.

The Government of Alberta has also been notified of BC’s plans to support their local wineries.

Alberta’s response

Alberta’s Minister of Economic Development and Trade, Deron Bilous, tweeted his response to the challenge:

Since announcing the boycott, Alberta Premier Rachel Notley has been flooding her Twitter account with messages of support for the pipeline sent to her by BC residents:

Other strategies

Besides the formal challenge and declaring April BC wine month, the provincial government is also rolling out a series of other initiatives to support the BC wine industry, in the wake of the Alberta embargo:

  • Increased opportunities for retailers to carry B.C. wines, including those from small and medium-sized producers
  • Storefront display promotions throughout the month of April
  • Larger variety of in-store tastings of B.C. wines
  • Funding an expansion of the Buy BC: Eat Drink Local campaign
  • Funding to expand BC VQA (Wine Authority) wines to new international markets.

Our province is home to over 350 licensed wineries with an annual impact of $2.8 billion, so these initiatives are necessary to preserve the lives of these high quality local wines.