There’s nothing like politics to completely muddy the waters, and that’s what’s happening with the Kinder Morgan pipeline.
It’s officially a trade war that Alberta Premier Rachel Notley has started with B.C. It’s one thing to say we’re not going to buy electricity from you, which is a provincial matter, but this is now targeting the wine industry in B.C.
Notley came out and said that the Alberta liquor control apparatus is going to stop buying and importing B.C. wine into Alberta – which I actually think is Alberta’s loss more than I think is ours. But it is a loss to our industry — $70 million wholesale is what Alberta buys every year, and closer to $160 million retail, according to the BC Wine Institute.
Alberta is the largest market outside of B.C. so it’s a fair chunk of money, especially if you’re running a small winery operation and have a small vineyard; if a lot of your product is going to Alberta – that’s serious business.
Notley wants to escalate this. She’s going to keep going and keep targeting B.C. businesses.
WATCH: Alberta puts a cork in B.C. wine shipments
Make no mistake about it, don’t be misled, this isn’t about oil or keeping our beaches clean. This is about politics and getting reelected. That’s what politicians do, that’s their number one priority.
Notley has just over a year to call a new election for Alberta, so she is setting the stage with her actions for what’s going to be the political fight of her life – running against Jason Kenney.
Kenney, from the United Conservative Party in Alberta, is currently leading the polls. Notley knows she’s going to be in for a bruising battle by the time the election is called.
As for B.C. Premier John Horgan, he needs to keep the B.C. Greens happy. He’s already annoyed a lot of people with the Site C dam approval. A lot of people in his party and outside the party voted Green and support his NDP — for now.
WATCH: Alberta-B.C. trade war heats up with wine ban reaction
He’s facing huge political considerations. This statement from Tuesday was pretty telling: “We haven’t even done anything – we’re just consulting with British Columbians.”
And if Alberta disagrees – they can make that argument in the proper venue, our court system.
Believe me, there’s nothing Horgan and the NDP want more than to get this issue into the courts. Once there, they have the ability to delay, appeal, and to put this thing on ice.