Premier John Horgan says the province is investigating whether the Alberta’s wine ban violates interprovincial trade agreements. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press)

B.C. already seeking new markets for wine in Asia, U.S.: Horgan

‘We are going to be seeking new markets to replace any lost market we may have in Alberta’

Premier John Horgan says he plans to intensify efforts to find new markets for B.C. wine, which was already being done before Alberta’s ban over the Trans Mountain pipeline.

Horgan said he promoted the industry during a recent trip to China, South Korea and Japan, and he plans to discuss increasing the province’s market share south of the border on a trip to Washington state next month.

“We are defending industries right now,” Horgan said Thursday. “We’ve made it clear that we are going to be seeking new markets to replace any lost market we may have in Alberta.”

The wine prohibition is the latest escalation of a dispute between the two provinces over the pipeline expansion project by Kinder Morgan Canada Ltd.

READ MORE: John Horgan won’t retaliate in pipeline feud with Alberta

B.C. announced plans last week to review limits on diluted bitumen shipments until it’s confident a spill can be cleaned up.

Alberta responded by halting talks on purchasing electricity from B.C. before it banned wine imports from its neighbour.

Alberta says it imported about 17 million bottles of B.C. wine last year, worth an estimated $70 million.

Horgan said the province is investigating whether the ban violates interprovincial trade agreements.

“We’re reviewing our options and we’ll take action when appropriate,” he added,

Horgan maintains the proposal to limit diluted bitumen shipments is not meant to be provocative but is aimed at protecting B.C.’s environment and economy. Alberta Premier Rachel Notley has called the proposal an unconstitutional attempt to stop the $7.4-billion pipeline expansion.

Ottawa has already approved the project, which would triple the capacity of the pipeline between Edmonton to Burnaby, B.C., and increase tanker traffic off the west coast sevenfold.

Earlier Thursday, the federal government announced an overhaul of the environmental assessment process that was used to approve the Trans Mountain project. Under the new rules, projects would have to be assessed and either approved or denied within two years, and reviews would consider health, social and economic effects, as well as Indigenous rights.

Horgan said he hadn’t had a chance to read the entire proposal, but he commended the federal government for recognizing the need to keep pace with changing views and perspectives.

The changes also seem to suggest the former system was flawed, he said.

“Does this say that the processes that were in place yesterday were adequate? Clearly the federal government doesn’t think so and many British Columbians don’t think so,” Horgan said.

Gemma Karstens-Smith, The Canadian Press

Just Posted

Former city manager George Harvie to run for Delta mayor

Harvie’s Achieving for Delta slate includes former fire chief Dan Copeland

UPDATE: Surrey RCMP release sketch of ‘suspicious person’ who approached child outside school

Surrey RCMP describe the suspect as South Asian, in his 40s or younger, with a beard and a blue turban

International swimming events about to make a splash in Surrey

Espoir Canadian Championships and FINA Artistic Swimming World Series to be held at Surrey Sport and Leisure Complex

Effort underway to replace aging White Rock Elementary playground

Parents, students striving to raise $70k for new play structure

Fire in South Surrey Tuesday evening

It happened near King George Boulevard and 27B Avenue

VIDEO: Morgan Freeman to voice announcements on SkyTrain, buses

TransLink unveils new credit card feature ahead of busy tourist season

Union calls on prime minister to step into ‘stalled’ Phoenix compensation talks

For more than two years, thousands of federal workers have been affected by Phoenix system

Judge: President Trump can’t block critics on Twitter

The judge had suggested that Trump mute rather than block some of his critics

B.C. aHUS patient in need of kidney donation

Despite receiving $750K drug Soliris, Paul Chung’s kidneys failed

NFL owners adopt new policy to address anthem protests

Commissioner Roger Goodell said the change was approved unanimously by owners

Unicyclist starts his cross-Canada trip in Vancouver

Taylor Stark started his journey May 7

Film Review: On Chesil Beach

Saoirse Ronan continues to shine in adaptation Ian McEwan novel about young newlyweds on their wedding day

BC Seafood Festival competition line-up announced for Island event

Top Vancouver chefs heading to the Island for the largest seafood festival in Western Canada

B.C. patients lost nearly $500,000 due to medical wait times: report

Fraser Institute report shows Canadians as a whole lost $1.9 billion

Most Read