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.
We will defend our wine industry from unfair trade practices. We're formally challenging Alberta's ban on #BCWine through the Canadian Free Trade Agreement's dispute settlement process. #bcpoli https://t.co/U4dDTl1xft pic.twitter.com/uIejZAgPxe
— John Horgan (@jjhorgan) February 19, 2018
Alberta’s Minister of Economic Development and Trade, Deron Bilous, tweeted his response to the challenge:
The Government of British Columbia is taking direct aim at the jobs and economic security of hundreds of thousands of Canadians – including tens of thousands of British Columbians – by threatening to limit what can go inside a pipeline. #ableg pic.twitter.com/vGpRXDuUjO
— Deron Bilous (@DeronBilous) February 19, 2018
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:
30,000 Canadians have used their voice to defend our national economy and protect Canadian jobs. Will you sign the petition to tell BC’s government to stop the games and #KeepCanadaWorking #abpoli #bcpoli https://t.co/mRInHMVrQx pic.twitter.com/TK77jJKLvs
— Rachel Notley (@RachelNotley) February 18, 2018
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.