Nova Scotia premier adds voice to concerns over pipeline trade dispute

A protest in Vancouver against Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline.
Darryl Dyck  The Canadian Press  File

Notley announced on Tuesday that her province will stop the import of wine from B.C. until the NDP government suspends its efforts to place restrictions on the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

Horgan feels this is not a trade war and he's not threatening any retaliatory actions against our neighbours and that includes a ban on Alberta beef.

He said the federal government continues to talk with the provinces, including meetings Thursday between officials from Ottawa and deputy ministers in B.C., but that no specific intervention is yet necessary from B.C.'s proposed consultations.

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley has said the move is illegal and unconstitutional.

"I think that asserting their federal jurisdiction in whatever manner they determine is most effective and most appropriate is something I'll be looking for, so that we get past the words of support to the actions of support that we're all chasing hard". "I take that very seriously and I will be resolute in protecting the interests of this great province".

He added: "We're now on a path to getting approvals, but it's not lost on us that there are still obstacles".

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.

The NDP minister of agriculture, Lana Popham, briefly indicated a possible response Tuesday when reporters caught up with her during a previously scheduled tour of Okanagan wineries. We stand with our wine industry.

"I'm sure it will affect some people in the long term, but I'm hoping most people will be able to look past a political issue and just enjoy the wine that they've come to love", he said.

"I don't believe it's in anyone's interests to have duelling premiers", Horgan said.

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Horgan's New Democrats are in a governing alliance with the B.C. Green party, fiercely opposed to the Kinder Morgan pipeline that would pump Alberta's bitumen to our coast.

Protesters said in an email that they "physically intervened" and forced construction to a halt on the Trans Mountain pipeline.

Layne Craig, the owner of 40 Knots Vineyard and Estate Winery in Comox, said the ban won't have much of an impact over the short term but there's the potential for him to loose upwards of $100,000 if Notley was also to ban the direct sales of wine going forward.

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.

Still, Johnson said he feels the optics of the dispute between neighbouring provinces isn't positive.

But it shouldn't be up to Alberta to enforce Canada's Constitution.

She adds this decision wasn't easy but it doesn't have to be this way.

On Thursday, the federal government announced an overhaul of the environmental assessment process that was used to approve the Trans Mountain project. "We have agricultural workers who are going to lose jobs and Albertans who are going to lose out on our premium wine".

British Columbia's government needs to be reminded that it does not own Canada's western coast, that it cannot ignore the law and does not have the right to usurp a federal project in the national interest - even if it takes a trade war to do so.

Other politicians are speaking up about the dispute.

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