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B.C. premier says he won’t retaliate in ongoing trade fight with Alberta

FILE - B.C. Premier John Horgan says his government will work with the B.C. wine industry to ensure Alberta's decision to stop imports does not cause damage.
FILE - B.C. Premier John Horgan says his government will work with the B.C. wine industry to ensure Alberta's decision to stop imports does not cause damage. Richard Zussman/Global News

B.C. Premier John Horgan said the B.C. government will not retaliate in an ongoing dispute between the governments of Alberta and British Columbia.

Horgan said he will not be “distracted” by Alberta Premier Rachel Notley after she announced her government was halting imports of B.C. wine.

“I have no intention of responding each day to events in other jurisdictions,” said Horgan.

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“We stand with our wine industry, it is a quality project.”

The war of the rosés has escalated since British Columbia announced last week a public consultation to consider restricting an increase in bitumen flow to British Columbia’s coast.

Horgan said he does not believe “that the actions of Alberta are consistent with trade agreements that we have been signed province-to-province as well as nationally.”

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‘It’s not in anyone’s interest to have dueling premiers’: Horgan
‘It’s not in anyone’s interest to have dueling premiers’: Horgan

He said his government will work with the B.C. wine industry to ensure Alberta’s decision to stop imports does not cause damage. The premier added that they have heard that other provinces are interested in taking some of the wine stock now available.

B.C. and federal officials will meet on Thursday to discuss the Trans Mountain pipeline twinning and the ongoing trade battle. But Horgan said he will not meet face-to-face with Notley on the issue for now.

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

“Our focus has been and will continue to be on affordability for British Columbians,” said Horgan.

“I will not be distracted by that objective while the government of Alberta continues to take retaliatory trade actions against our province because we have chosen to talk to British Columbians about how we can protect our interests.”

Horgan has spoken to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on the issue. The B.C. premier did not ask the prime minister to intervene.

‘I have no intention of responding each day to events in other jurisdictions’: Horgan on B.C. wine boycott
‘I have no intention of responding each day to events in other jurisdictions’: Horgan on B.C. wine boycott

While Horgan spoke to reporters in Victoria, Notley tweeted messages of support that she said she has received from British Columbia.

“From the Inbox: ‘As a resident of British Columbia, I would like to apologize for the behavior of our government. I – as well as many others here – are on your side,’ – Rainer, Comox BC,” read one of Notley’s tweets.

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Notley has vowed to take additional measures against British Columbia if the federal government does not intervene.

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