B.C.’s wine industry is moving ahead with a court challenge of Alberta’s ban on the import of its wines.
B.C. Wine Institute president and CEO Miles Prodan said his group regrets resorting to a request for an injunction, but the boycott imposed by Alberta left it no other options to protect the industry.
He said the ban must end because it risks the livelihoods of more than 12,000 people employed in the industry and threatens the province’s multimillion-dollar wine tourism industry.
Prodan says the institute also believes it is “unconstitutional to prohibit the import of Canadian goods into another province based solely on where they come from.”
“It’s causing some hardship,” Prodan said. “We don’t see any quick resolution to this at all.”
Prodan said the B.C. government’s disputes resolution challenge could take months to resolve and the industry can’t wait that long.
British Columbia’s NDP government announced this week that it is challenging the ban by formally requesting consultations under the Canadian free trade agreement’s dispute settlement process.
The dispute began after B.C. Premier John Horgan announced a possible limit on shipments of diluted bitumen from Alberta while it studies the environmental impact of a potential spill from the expansion of Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline.