‘This is a fight between B.C. and the rest of Canada’: Alberta not backing down on B.C. wine boycott

Click to play video: 'Alberta and B.C. premiers escalate pipeline fight' Alberta and B.C. premiers escalate pipeline fight
WATCH ABOVE: What started as a boycott of B.C. wine has blown up into a full-fledged trade war. Robin Gill looks at the impact of provincial pipeline politics and where this could be headed – Feb 7, 2018

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley didn’t mince words Wednesday morning when it comes to the ban on wines from British Columbia she put in place on Tuesday.

Speaking on 630 CHED’s The Ryan Jespersen Show, Notley said the battle was bigger than the two provinces.

“This is not a fight between Alberta and B.C.; this is a fight between Canada and B.C.

“The federal government has approved that pipeline and to make sure it goes ahead, to makes sure the investors have the certainty they need to continue their work, the prime minister needs to make it very clear that, under no circumstances will the B.C. government be allowed to pass laws which are illegal and unconstitutional.”

WATCH: One day after Rachel Notley announced a ban on importing B.C. wine into Alberta, the premier spoke to Global News’ Tom Vernon in a one-on-one interview about the issues at play.

Click to play video: 'Interview with Alberta Premier Rachel Notley amid rising tensions with B.C.' Interview with Alberta Premier Rachel Notley amid rising tensions with B.C.
Interview with Alberta Premier Rachel Notley amid rising tensions with B.C – Feb 7, 2018


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Last week, B.C. Premier John Horgan said the province is considering banning increased shipments of diluted bitumen off the West Coast, prompting Notley to direct the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission to “immediately halt” the import of B.C. wines.

READ MORE: Alberta to stop importing B.C. wines into the province: Notley

“There’s nothing wrong with them consulting on best practices to ensure that they do everything that they can to protect environmental safety in B.C.,” Notley said Wednesday.

LISTEN: Premier Rachel Notley on The Ryan Jespersen Show on 630 CHED

“What we do not agree with is the proposal to introduce laws to regulate what goes through pipelines. That is not a thing they can do. That is black and white. They know it. So they need to stop talking about doing it.”

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READ MORE: B.C. wine boycott could hurt Albertans, say food and beverage industry entrepreneurs

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau weighed in on the dispute Wednesday, saying his government will stand up for the “national interest.”

“Canadians know that the environment and the economy need to go together and that’s why we’ve moved forward on three things that go together: getting our new resources to new markets safely and securely through responsible means; investing in world-class ocean protections plans to protect the B.C. coast and other coasts; and making sure we have a national price on carbon that’s going to reduce our emissions,” he said.

READ MORE: ‘We’re standing up for the national interest’: Trudeau weighs in on Alberta, B.C. dispute

Leader of Alberta’s Official Opposition, Jason Kenney, also weighed in on The Ryan Jespersen Show on Wednesday, saying he’s not for trade wars, and doesn’t believe Notley is either, but “B.C. started a trade war and our response can’t be passivity.”

Watch below: One day after Alberta imposed a ban on the importation of B.C. wine, reaction continues to pour in as the provinces’ ongoing dispute over the Trans Mountain pipeline continues to escalate. Tom Vernon has the latest.

Click to play video: 'Oil industry leader says stalling on Trans Mountain pipeline project sends bad signal' Oil industry leader says stalling on Trans Mountain pipeline project sends bad signal
Oil industry leader says stalling on Trans Mountain pipeline project sends bad signal – Feb 7, 2018

“If they violate the law, which gives the federal government exclusive jurisdiction over the regulation of inter-provincial pipelines, and if they attack our single-largest export product, there will be a serious response. They need to understand this. I’m glad the NDP has agreed with us in making that point.”

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LISTEN: UCP leader Jason Kenney speaks on The Ryan Jespersen Show on 630 CHED

Alberta businesses respond

Karen Collins, owner of Asti Trattoria Italiana restaurant in Fort McMurray, Alta., decided to take B.C. wines off her restaurant’s wine list on Feb. 1.

“I had heard the announcement and it really hit me personally,” Collins said. “I love my province and we’ve been through a lot.

“We’ve seen a lot of hits to our economy and when another province takes a direct hit on you when you’re already struggling, it affects us here in Fort McMurray, it affects us in Alberta and it affects us in Canada.”

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Collins said she’s received some emails from B.C. wine producers asking her to reconsider, but her stance isn’t going to change.

“Wine was the only thing I could say that ‘I’m not going to support your economy’ with.”

Watch below: Karen Collins pulled B.C. wines from her Italian restaurant in Fort McMurray last week. Now, the premier followed suit with a boycott. Gord Steinke catches up with Collins.

Click to play video: 'Fort McMurray restaurateur responds to B.C. wine ban' Fort McMurray restaurateur responds to B.C. wine ban
Fort McMurray restaurateur responds to B.C. wine ban – Feb 7, 2018

READ MORE: B.C. premier vows province will respond to ‘unfair’ wine boycott

Notley’s next steps in the wine wars is to “turn up the pressure” across the country and get the federal government to come out and stop B.C.’s plan.

“This is about the degree to which Canada can present itself to investors, not only internally but externally to the world, as a place that’s capable of getting the job done.”

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WATCH BELOW: Global News’ ongoing coverage of the dispute between Alberta and B.C.

Meanwhile, B.C. is backtracking on a vow to respond to Alberta’s “unfair” wine boycott.

B.C. Agriculture Minister Lana Popham was at a government funding announcement on Tuesday when she suggested retaliatory measures.

“Our wineries are feeling they are caught in the crosshairs. It’s unfair,” Popham said. “We bring a lot of Alberta beef into this province and I would rather not go down that route and I don’t know where we are going to go but one thing I know is we are going to fight.”

In a video she tweeted Wednesday night, Notley acknowledged the wine boycott will affect some small businesses but added that in the long run, ensuring Alberta’s economy is healthy will help B.C. wineries.

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“Let’s remember, when Alberta’s economy is allowed to enjoy the benefits of the billions of dollars a year that a successful pipeline will bring to our province, more people will be able to eat in Alberta restaurants and buy B.C. wine.”

WATCH: ‘Albertans should be standing up with our premier’: Former MLA Gary Mar.

Click to play video: '‘Albertans should be standing up with our premier’: Former MLA Gary Mar' ‘Albertans should be standing up with our premier’: Former MLA Gary Mar
‘Albertans should be standing up with our premier’: Former MLA Gary Mar – Feb 7, 2018

Horgan told media on Wednesday there are no plans to respond to the wine boycott.

“It happened to be that [Popham] was in the Okanagan when Premier Notley made her pronouncement on trade and she made comments. But it is not the government’s intention to respond to any provocation.

“We’re going to focus on the needs of British Columbians and hope that cooler heads on the other side of the Rockies prevail.”

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Horgan added he won’t be “distracted” and had no “intention of responding each day to events in other jurisdictions. He said he hadn’t spoken to Notley since the wine announcement, but has talked with her before that about the issues and the provinces’ environment ministers had also been in contact.

On Wednesday afternoon, Notley began tweeting excerpts from letters and emails of support she’s received from people in B.C. since imposing the ban on that province’s wine.

“I am considering moving to a province that is considerate of its neighbours & the country that it is a part of. I find it appalling that I pay taxes to fight federally approved projects and to feud with provincial neighbours,” reads one tweet from a man named John in Victoria.

“Too many Canadians think the country runs on air. What I want now is British Columbians boycotting BC wine and beer. I know there would be support. We are Canadians!” reads another tweet, comments she said were sent to her by Clifford in Vancouver.

You can view more of the tweets below.

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– With files from Amy Judd & Richard Zussman, Global News and Kevin Robertson & Cassandra Jodoin, 630 CHED and Phil Heidenreich

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