The dispute between Alberta and British Columbia over the Trans Mountain pipeline continues to escalate.
Yesterday, Premier Rachel Notley announced the province would stop importing B.C. wines.
This after B.C. said last week it’s proposing to restrict increased shipments of bitumen while it further studies the effectiveness of spill response and cleanup.
In response, owner of Fort McMurray’s Asti Trattoria Italiana Karen Collins made the decision to stop serving B.C. wines as a way to support the community.
She tells Mix News she didn’t expect her decision to go viral.
“I’m very pleased with the Premier’s decision. I absolutely support it and what I can say is yesterday, I was the most hated woman in British Columbia and today I am only the second most hated woman.”
Collins notes she took the B.C. decision personally and wanted to make a stand for the community and the province.
“I saw it as a direct impact, not only on my community’s economy and the people that rely on that income but also on my province. I wasn’t willing to accept it or contribute to the B.C. economy.”
For some liquor stores in Fort McMurray, the effect has not quite been felt but concerns are looming.
Manager of Anderson’s Liquor Inc. Robyn Jones says she hasn’t heard much reaction from consumers.
“We’re a little store but I know if we don’t stock B.C. wine, it will probably effect my business because the majority of Canadian wines come from there.”
Jones feels it will take time before the full effect of the decision is known.
“It’s still pretty fresh but we’re not pulling anything off the shelf – it will still be available for purchase if customers want to purchase it but the limit of availability from the liquor distributors is what will determine that.”
In addition to the wine, last week Notley said they will be suspending talks about purchasing BC electricity worth up to $500 million per year.
Collins believes the whole point is for Albertans to have pride and stand up for themselves.
“It’s like saying to B.C., ‘it’s okay, take another shot at us,’ and I just think that’s wrong. You have to stand up for what you believe in, you have to stand for Alberta and our principles and our economy. If you don’t then they’ll just walk all over us.”
She adds it’s not about hurting the B.C. wine industry or the people of B.C., it’s simply about the Alberta economy and if the wine ban acts as a catalyst to sparking conversation between the provinces, she’s all for it.