Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Thursday February 8, 2018
Alberta to stop importing B.C. wine
The fight over Alberta oil coming to British Columbia has now escalated into a wine war.
Alberta Premier Rachel Notley announced Tuesday that the province is banning wine from B.C. wineries effective immediately.
“This is one good step to waking B.C. up to the fact that they can’t attack our industry without a response from us,” Notley said at a legislature news conference. “The Alberta Gaming and Liquor Control Board will put an immediate halt to the import of B.C. wine into Alberta.”
She said in 2017, there were 17.2 million bottles imported — the equivalent of about 1.4 million cases — with an estimated value of $70 million per year for B.C. Wineries.
“The wine industry is very important to B.C. Not nearly as important as the energy industry is to Alberta and Canada, but important nonetheless,” said Notley.
“I’m also encouraging all Albertans: next time you’re thinking about ordering a glass of wine, think of our energy workers. Think of your neighbours. Think of our community. Think about our province, and maybe choose some terrific Alberta craft beer instead.”
Miles Prodan, president of the B.C. Wine Institute, said the estimated retail value of the wine going to Alberta is likely even higher than Notley’s estimate, around $160 million.
Alberta is the most important market for B.C. wine outside of sales within our own the province, Prodan said, adding that about 11 per cent of B.C. wine sold across the country is sold in Alberta. (Source: Hamilton Spectator)