Advertisement

Restaurant industry likes list of changes proposed for B.C. wines

Bottles of British Columbia wine on display at a liquor store in Cremona, Alta., Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2018. Alberta is banning the import of British Columbia wines in response to what Alberta Premier Rachel Notley sees as moves to try to scuttle the Trans Mountain pipeline project. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh.
Bottles of British Columbia wine on display at a liquor store in Cremona, Alta., Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2018. Alberta is banning the import of British Columbia wines in response to what Alberta Premier Rachel Notley sees as moves to try to scuttle the Trans Mountain pipeline project. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

Restaurants licensed to serve alcohol could see some major savings if the province follows up with recommendations made by the B.C. Green Party.

The party is calling on government to make changes to support the province’s wine industry following the heated dispute between B.C. and Alberta.

WATCH: B.C. and Alberta fight over oil and wine

Story continues below advertisement

It is making three suggestions to strengthen the sector – promoting local wines and alcohol at provincially-operated liquor stores, looking into whether licensed restaurants can purchase B.C. wine at wholesale prices, and putting dollars forward to expand B.C. Vintners Quality Alliance (VQA) export sales to other provinces, as well as getting them overseas.

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

“B.C.’s wine industry is a provincial treasure that brings significant tourism and economic activity to our province,” Green leader Andrew Weaver said in a press release.

“More than that, it represents the best of our province – innovators who have developed their businesses into an internationally renowned region. Today we are calling for the provincial government to take decisive action to support these businesses who have been unfairly targeted by a neighbouring government.”

READ MORE: Wine industry used as ‘political football’ in B.C.-Alberta dispute, Ontario group says

The B.C. Restaurant and Food Services Association has called for the province to allow restaurants to buy wine at wholesale prices.

“As we’ve talked in the past, every restaurant that buys alcohol for their restaurant buy it at full retail. So that would be a great break for restaurants and also more importantly, a great break for people who go to restaurants,” said President and CEO Ian Tostenson.

Story continues below advertisement

“The pricing of B.C. wines is sort of different than normal. But I would think that you’d be in the range of 15-25 per cent in terms of price reductions on the wines.”

READ MORE: Task force to suggest ‘further measures to defend Alberta’ against B.C. ‘attack’

He said the potential savings could be passed on to customers with the price per glass also going down, or noted it could be used to balance finances with an increase to the minimum wage coming over the next three years.

This push to protect wineries comes following the Alberta government’s boycott of B.C. wine on Tuesday noting Premier John Horgan and the NDP were trying to obstruct the expansion of Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline.

The federal government is on record saying it supports the project and has sent officials to B.C. to end the escalating feud between the provincial governments.