With the clock ticking down until the B.C. NDP tables its first full budget, Premier John Horgan has taken to Twitter to promote it.
Standing in front of a Vancouver beach, Horgan promises an “exciting budget,” particularly for those facing childcare and housing challenges.
“A budget that’s going to tackle the housing crisis, a budget that’s going to invest unprecedented amounts of resources into childcare for families,” Horgan says.
But while Horgan said his focus this week is on B.C., he dedicated a good portion of the video to the province’s simmering trade dispute with Alberta.
Alberta has banned the import of B.C. wines in retaliation to B.C.’s proposal to block increased bitumen shipments until the effects of a marine spill can be further studied.
“We’re also going to protect our wine industry from unfair trade practices being brought on us by the government of Alberta,” Horgan says.
“I say to Alberta and other jurisdictions that B.C. stands resolute to protect our coast, to protect our environment and to protect our economy.”
Horgan also appeared to take a shot at Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who has argued that the Trans Mountain pipeline is in the national interest.
The premier tells viewers he believes in a “cooperative federalism, where all Canadians benefit from the choices we make, not just a few people, but all people.”
Horgan’s video comes after Alberta Premier Rachel Notley launched her own concerted social media blitz over the pipeline dispute, including a video of her own and a series tweets quoting pro-pipeline British Columbians.
Notley has also formed a task force to study further retaliatory measures against B.C., and has warned that she may escalate Alberta’s actions if there is no action on the dispute by this week.
That pledge may be tested. Over the weekend, B.C. said it would appeal a decision allowing Trans Mountain to overrule two City of Burnaby bylaws, and on Monday it said it would formally challenge Alberta’s wine ban through the Canadian Free Trade Agreement.