BC's Horgan escalates challenge to Alberta, will take pipeline standoff to court

Environment Minister George Heyman and Premier John Horgan announce court reference Feb. 22 2018

Environment Minister George Heyman and Premier John Horgan announce court reference Feb. 22 2018

"I think it is fair to say that in a small way today B.C. blinked", Premier Notley said.

Alberta is B.C.'s biggest wine customer, about $70 million worth of business a year, and this week the B.C. Wine Institute said wine growers were being severely affected.

I wrote the same thing to Premier Rachel Notley some time ago and her reply indicated that Alberta already has considerably more refinery capacity than I realized.

The move came after B.C. Premier John Horgan announced his government would turn to the courts on the question of whether B.C. could put a temporary ban on increased bitumen exports from Alberta.

Notley and the federal government labelled the move unconstitutional, and Notley banned B.C. wine from Alberta until Horgan agreed Thursday to reverse his decision and let the courts decide. The former group drives sales in most of the more widely popular brands and labels and has a province-wide reach, while the latter's emphasis on lesser-known regions, producers and styles - wines that sometimes require more of a hand sell - has helped round out the market.

Prodan said changing restrictions would protect his industry from being unfairly targeted by provincial governments in unrelated disputes.

Notley did not say the ban would be permanently lifted, reserving the right to bring it back into force once more, depending on what happens with the pipeline dispute.

The B.C. wine boycott is over and corks are popping all over the Calgary foodie community to celebrate. The statement was in response to a motion from the opposition Conservatives, who said PM Trudeau and his government had been sitting idly by while B.C. did its best to block the expansion.

The owner of St. Hubertus and Oak Bay Estate Winery in Kelowna is celebrating the end of Alberta's boycott of B.C. wine.

"We are prepared to confirm that right in the courts".

On Thursday, Notley said the wine ban has been suspended.

"This afternoon, B.C. said they were shelving their threat to regulate what flows through a federally-approved pipeline", said Notley."B.C. never had the right to begin with". "We understand they need the jobs in the oil industry, and we need to look out for our environment..."

"I'm confident that the courts will not give B.C. rights it does not possess under our Constitution", she said.

So, ramming a pipeline through B.C.'s densely populated Lower Mainland, and increasing the number of dilbit tankers through the crowded Salish Sea, against the wishes of the B.C. government, the cities of Vancouver, Victoria, Burnaby, and others, First Nations, and half the people of B.C.is OK? Notley, who had also scuttled talks to buy B.C. electricity, had been threatening further retaliatory action.

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