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

Parents grieving teen’s overdose death say it started with opioid prescription

Elliot Eurchuk, 16, died at his Oak Bay home Friday, after taking street drugs

Songhees and Esquimalt First Nations open new RV Park

Both nations excited about new economic venture

Victoria High School students find themselves in a ‘Hairy’ situation

Vic High drama students performing modern version of Broadway musical ‘Hair’

Ready for day two at the Home Expo

One exhibitor, Atlas Junk Removal, uses their trucks for a good cause

Oak Bay beach eatery looks to reward more volunteers

The Kiwanis Tea Room at Willows Beach opens April 28

VIDEO: Moose found licking salt off B.C. man’s pickup truck

Tab Baker was in his garage in Prince George when the small moose gave his truck a clean

Spring Home Show this weekend in Colwood

West Shore Parks and Recreation will be transformed to showcase everything home related

B.C. student makes short-list for autism advocacy award

Brody Butts honoured for his role as a mentor and self-advocate

Austin Powers ‘Mini-Me’, Verne Troyer, dies at 49

Facebook page confirmed his death Saturday afternoon

Alberta man dead after snowmobile collision on B.C. mountain

The incident occurred on Boulder Mountain Friday morning

16 of 20 fastest improving B.C. schools are public: Fraser Institute

Independent elementary schools remain at top of the chart in think tank’s annual report card

Dinosaurs taking centre stage at National Geographic event

NatGeo Live series finale May 2 at the Royal features renowned paleontologist

UPDATED: 1 person dead after highway crash in Nanoose Bay

Accident happened just before 4 p.m. near Hillview Road

NAFTA: Talks continue through weekend in scramble to get a deal

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland called negotiations ‘perpetual’

Most Read