On Feb. 6, Alberta Premier Rachel Notley announced that her province is banning B.C. wine imports. This decision is retaliation for B.C. Premier’s John Horgan’s government’s lack of progress in regard to the Kinder-Morgan pipeline and the restriction to increase bitumen shipments from Alberta.
Within minutes of the announcement, Restaurants Canada issued a press release expressing our industry’s concern in regard to this expanding interprovincial trade war.
Mark von Schellwitz, vice president, Restaurants Canada, Western Canada, told the Calgary Herald that “I would imagine the majority of our members would be extremely frustrated being dragged into this trade dispute between Alberta and British Columbia. I think, as a country, we’re trying to strike down domestic and international trade barriers, and this decision certainly moves us in the wrong direction.”
von Schellwitz also spoke with Global News, 660 News Calgary and CBC News Edmonton and CBC’s On the Money. The Globe and Mail and burnabynow.com picked up Restaurants Canada’s press release and included it in their respective editions.
According to the Herald, Alberta imported approximately 17.2 million bottles of wine from B.C. in 2017, totalling about $70 million for B.C. wineries.
The Wines of British Columbia issued a release stating that 30 per cent of all wines sold in Alberta are from B.C., with a retail value of $160 million.
Restaurants Canada will continue to monitor the situation closely and bring our members’ concerns to both governments to ensure their voices are heard.