Premier John Horgan says the province is investigating whether the Alberta’s wine ban violates interprovincial trade agreements. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press)

B.C. already seeking new markets for wine in Asia, U.S.: Horgan

‘We are going to be seeking new markets to replace any lost market we may have in Alberta’

Premier John Horgan says he plans to intensify efforts to find new markets for B.C. wine, which was already being done before Alberta’s ban over the Trans Mountain pipeline.

Horgan said he promoted the industry during a recent trip to China, South Korea and Japan, and he plans to discuss increasing the province’s market share south of the border on a trip to Washington state next month.

“We are defending industries right now,” Horgan said Thursday. “We’ve made it clear that we are going to be seeking new markets to replace any lost market we may have in Alberta.”

The wine prohibition is the latest escalation of a dispute between the two provinces over the pipeline expansion project by Kinder Morgan Canada Ltd.

READ MORE: John Horgan won’t retaliate in pipeline feud with Alberta

B.C. announced plans last week to review limits on diluted bitumen shipments until it’s confident a spill can be cleaned up.

Alberta responded by halting talks on purchasing electricity from B.C. before it banned wine imports from its neighbour.

Alberta says it imported about 17 million bottles of B.C. wine last year, worth an estimated $70 million.

Horgan said the province is investigating whether the ban violates interprovincial trade agreements.

“We’re reviewing our options and we’ll take action when appropriate,” he added,

Horgan maintains the proposal to limit diluted bitumen shipments is not meant to be provocative but is aimed at protecting B.C.’s environment and economy. Alberta Premier Rachel Notley has called the proposal an unconstitutional attempt to stop the $7.4-billion pipeline expansion.

Ottawa has already approved the project, which would triple the capacity of the pipeline between Edmonton to Burnaby, B.C., and increase tanker traffic off the west coast sevenfold.

Earlier Thursday, the federal government announced an overhaul of the environmental assessment process that was used to approve the Trans Mountain project. Under the new rules, projects would have to be assessed and either approved or denied within two years, and reviews would consider health, social and economic effects, as well as Indigenous rights.

Horgan said he hadn’t had a chance to read the entire proposal, but he commended the federal government for recognizing the need to keep pace with changing views and perspectives.

The changes also seem to suggest the former system was flawed, he said.

“Does this say that the processes that were in place yesterday were adequate? Clearly the federal government doesn’t think so and many British Columbians don’t think so,” Horgan said.

Gemma Karstens-Smith, The Canadian Press

Just Posted

Ban on retail pot in Chilliwack until legalization comes into effect

City ready to draft a special zone for marijuana retail operations

Horses and science combine for new program at CSS

‘I get to do something I’m passionate about,’ says Chilliwack equine studies student

Automatic sprinkler system snuffs out fire at Chilliwack care facility

Firefighters highly recommend installing similar systems in homes to prevent serious damage

Clippers out-skate Chiefs for ninth win in a row

The Nanaimo Clippers defeated the Chilliwack Chiefs by a 4-1 score Wednesday at Frank Crane Arena

Chilliwack is ready for a little more snow

City Operations crews have been applying brine to Chilliwack roads in preparation for more snow

VIDEO: B.C. superfans soak in 2018 PyeongChang Olympics

Trio, including two from the Okanagan, have been cheering on Summerland Olympian Kripps among others in Korea

More snow expected on the Coquihalla, Highway 3

Environment Canada says five to 10 centimetres will come down between Friday and Saturday mornings

New charges against ex-Trump campaign associates

More charges were laid Thursday against President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman and his business associate

Man accused in death of Winnipeg teen Tina Fontaine not guilty

Raymond Cormier was accused of killing Indigenous 15-year-old and dumping her body in the Red River

Okanagan real estate agents brace for speculation tax impact

“There’s a real potential for a domino effect to hurt the market in Kelowna.”

Alberta drops B.C. wine boycott, Notley says Horgan ‘blinked’ on pipeline

B.C. government announces court reference on proposed diluted bitumen restriction

Lane closures on Alex Fraser, Port Mann bridges considered to avoid ‘ice bombs’

Province spent $5 million clearing both bridges last years

UPDATE: Northern Health dealing with lack of 121 registered nurses

Auditor General says officials need to improve internal management, track effect of new policies

B.C. businesses say new health tax will raise prices for consumers

Province announced that MSP will be gone by 2020

Most Read