56928
55957
Dan-in-Ottawa

Wine a weapon in trade war

We have a trade war brewing between duelling NDP governments in B.C. and Alberta.

Make no mistake, this provincial trade dispute will have economic repercussions for our region if it is not quickly resolved. 

As one example, within hours of the announcement from Premier Rachel Notley targeting B.C. wine, I heard from one small, family-run winery owner who now faces the challenge of what happens with the 6,000 cases of wine ordered in Alberta. 

Mortgages, payroll, taxes and utilities all must be paid for this winery to survive.

There are more than 100 wineries that do business in Alberta and many of those wineries are located right here in the Okanagan as part of the roughly $70 million Alberta wine market.

Why is this happening?

As many will know, despite the fact that energy projects such as pipelines are entirely under federal jurisdiction, B.C. NDP Premier John Horgan announced efforts to attempt to block or otherwise delay the federally approved Trans Mountain pipeline project.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau continues to insist this project is in Canada’s national interest and must move forward.

I fully support the prime minister’s decision on this. As I have previously stated, the Trans Mountain approval is subject to 157 binding conditions that are intended to address concerns ranging from First Nations, environment, project engineering as well as safety and emergency response.

The value of this project is just under $7 billion and will create 15,000 new jobs during construction. 

This pipeline will also generate $4.5 billion in federal and provincial government revenues. It should also be noted that this project replaces the existing Trans Mountain pipeline system between Edmonton and Burnaby. This existing pipeline is now over 50 years old.

Where I fault the prime minister, aside from continually voicing strong support for the Trans Mountain pipeline project, he has provided no further explanation on what actions his government will take to ensure the pipeline  is constructed without political interference from the B.C. government.

In the absence of this firm directive from the prime minister, the Alberta government is now taking actions it believes are necessary to defend both the interests of Alberta and the national interest of Canada, as voiced by the prime minister. 

Innocent, small, family-run BC wineries will now face very serious economic circumstances beyond their control and that is entirely unacceptable.

If the Supreme Court of Canada rules in favour in the Comeau case and ensures interprovincial trade of Canadian products is a constitutional right, this situation could be very different. 

However, the motion I tabled in Ottawa to expedite the Comeau case, supported by the NDP and Green parties, was voted down by the Liberals.

What should happen?

We know that when Quebec-based Bombardier was threatened in a trade dispute,Trudeau cancelled an aircraft order with Boeing and released future military procurement policy that factors in Canada’s economic interests. 

In other words the prime minister stood up to defend Bombardier’s interests.

If Prime Minister Trudeau truly believes the Trans Mountain pipeline project is in Canada’s national interests, he need to step up and ensure that project is built.

My question this week:

  • Do you agree?

COMMENTS WELCOME

Comments are pre-moderated to ensure they meet our guidelines. Approval times will vary. Keep it civil, and stay on topic. If you see an inappropriate comment, please use the ‘flag’ feature. Comments are the opinions of the comment writer, not of Castanet. Comments remain open for one day after a story is published and are closed on weekends. Visit Castanet’s Forums to start or join a discussion about this story.



More Dan in Ottawa articles

56409
About the Author

Before entering public life, Dan was the owner of Kick City Martial Arts, responsible for training hundreds of men, women and youth to bring out their best.

MP Dan’s parliamentary record includes being recognized by the Ottawa Citizen in 2015 as one of five members of Parliament with a 100 per cent voting attendance record. 

Locally in British Columbia, MP Dan Albas has been consistently one of the lowest spending members of Parliament, on office and administration related costs, despite operating two offices to better serve local constituent.

MP Dan Albas is consistently recognized as one of Canada’s top 10 most active members of Parliament on Twitter (@danalbas) and also continues to write a weekly column published in many local newspapers and on this website.

In October 2015, MP Dan Albas was re-elected to Parliament representing the new riding of Central Okanagan Similkameen Nicola. Dan is currently the shadow minister for small business and sits on the Standing Committee on Finance.

MP Dan welcomes comments, questions and concerns from citizens and is often available to speak to groups and organizations on matters of federal concern.  

He can be reached at [email protected] or call toll free at 1-800-665-8711.



The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

Previous Stories



58378


57458