EDMONTON – Alberta Premier Rachel Notley says her Saskatchewan counterpart Brad Wall should pick up the phone if he has a problem with her province’s new beer rules.
Notley says criticism of her policy is another, in her words, “political drive-by” from Wall and she refuses to be lectured by him.
“I will not be lectured about any efforts that our government might take in the future in order to support our small brewers, our economic diversification, our workers and our industries,” Notley said.
Notley was responding to criticism levelled last week by Wall’s government over Alberta’s new pricing plan for beer.
As of Aug. 5, the markup on beer will be set at $1.25 a litre – regardless of where the beer is made, but there will be grants available for Alberta-based small brewers.
Notley says Alberta has been too passive when trade rules in other provinces have harmed local interests in the brewing industry.
Wall’s government says the price change will hurt Saskatchewan producers selling in Alberta and violates the spirit of interprovincial trade agreements.
On Tuesday, Wall sent out a tweet saying a call to Notley was offered.
Wall said he plans to meet with Notley at the upcoming Council of Federation premier’s meeting. He added Alberta’s new beer policy isn’t in the spirit of the New West Partnership, and based on discussion, Saskatchewan may have to introduce tougher trade regulations on Alberta liquor in retaliation.
“Unfortunately that’s one of the options that we’d have to look at in terms of reacting,” Wall said.
“We don’t want to. We’ll have the discussion first with the premier, because literally there are jobs and a the viability of Saskatchewan businesses at stake.”
With a file from Global News