Environmental activists and others in Quebec have started buying B.C. wine in what they call a statement of solidarity with the West Coast after Alberta Premier Rachel Notley said her province would stop taking imports from its western neighbour.
The campaign, which has rallied around the hashtag #QClovesBCwine, began on Tuesday, the same day that Notley announced that the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission (AGLC) would put an “immediate halt on the import of B.C. wine into Alberta.”
LISTEN: Quebec activists buy up B.C. wine in ‘solidarity’ with the West Coast
Coverage of Alberta’s B.C. wine ban on Globalnews.ca:
But out of the ashes of Alberta’s relationship with B.C. wine grew a social media campaign to support British Columbia after Notley’s boycott, and after the governing BC NDP announced plans to hold public consultations toward restricting increased shipments of diluted bitumen to its tidewaters.
The campaign was the brainchild of activists Anne Celine Guyon and Marie-Eve Leclerc.
Guyon had previously worked on “Coule pas chez nous,” a campaign that saw breweries join up to brew a Session IPA with ingredients from Quebec in an effort to stand up against industrial projects like the Energy East and the Line 9 pipelines.
“We saw this, and we said, we have to stand up in solidarity with B.C.,” Guyon told Global News.
She said activists in Quebec had long worked on strategy with people out west, and that when Energy East was cancelled, it was “natural” to stand with people who were protesting against Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline.
And Notley’s Tuesday announcement was a chance for them to show solidarity, Guyon said.
READ MORE: Alberta to stop importing B.C. wines into the province: Notley
Early on in the campaign, Guyon posted a meme on social media that outlined her challenge.
She wanted people to go to the liquor store, buy a wine from B.C., take a picture and then post it on social media.
And a number of social media users took her up on the challenge:
And Quebec wasn’t the only place where people bought West Coast wine in a show of support for B.C.
Guyon hopes that Notley will backtrack on her position.
But if Alberta’s premier stands pat, Guyon said activists will approach restaurants and encourage them to buy more B.C. wine.
“There’s no doubt that we’ll continue to help B.C.,” she said.
On Wednesday, B.C. Premier John Horgan said he wouldn’t retaliate against Alberta in what looks like an escalating trade fight between the provinces.
“I have no intention of responding each day to events in other jurisdictions,” he said.
Horgan said the BC NDP’s focus is on making life more affordable for British Columbians.
“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,” he said.