New BC Liberal leader calls Alberta pipeline fight a ‘huge embarrassment’

File photo. New BC Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson says if he were the premier tomorrow, he'd be on the phone to Ottawa to work out the dispute with Alberta. Paul Wright/CP

The premiers of B.C. and Alberta need to stop squabbling over the federally-approved Kinder Morgan pipeline project, new BC Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson said.

“This is a huge embarrassment for British Columbians, and it doesn’t do anything for B.C. or the people of Alberta,” he said.

Speaking with Mike Smyth on CKNW’s Simi Sara Show, Wilkinson said he said if he was premier tomorrow, he would be on the phone to Ottawa to find a solution.

READ MORE: B.C. and Alberta are feuding over wine: Here’s what the trade dispute is really about

“Let’s see what we can sort out and use the good offices of Ottawa to work with the government of Alberta to make sure the interests of British Columbia are being served, hopefully that will also be something that helps the interests of Albertans,” he said.

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As far as tanker safety off the coast is concerned, Wilkinson said the BC Liberal government secured $1 billion to ensure there would be an adequate spill response.

On Wednesday, Alberta Premier Rachel Notley hinted that the ban on B.C. wines may not be the end of retaliation against the province, which is set to hold a consultation toward restricting bitumen exports off the coast.

LISTEN: Andrew Wilkinson on the Simi Sara Show

Notley also tweeted dozens of supportive comments that she said came from B.C.

While B.C. Premier John Horgan has said he won’t retaliate against Alberta halting sales of B.C. wine, that doesn’t mean he’s not taking any action.

“We’re going to be looking at any violations of the internal trade agreements we have signed here in British Columbia with other provinces, particularly the new-west partnership between Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and B.C.,” he said.

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READ MORE: Alberta and B.C. left with limited options to escalate trade war over oil and wine

Horgan added that they’re reviewing options and will take action when appropriate.

When it comes to B.C. wine, Horgan said the government stands with producers, and will continue to work on expanding markets for wine made in B.C.

He has said restricting bitumen from Alberta while studying spill response is about protecting B.C., and not provoking Alberta.

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