The B.C. Wine Institute is keeping its finger on the trigger of potential court action to ensure Alberta, or any other province, cannot unilaterally ban wine imports from this province.
Institute President Miles Prodan says it is disconcerting to hear Alberta Premier Rachel Notley pledge she will bring back the ban on B.C. wine if her province’s dispute with the Horgan government over the Trans-Mountain pipeline goes off the rails again.
So will his organization follow through on a threatened legal challenge?
“For us it speaks to that larger issue about inter-provincial free trade and the inability of any province to be able to unilaterally block the importing of product just because it has come from somewhere else. That threat is still out there. Should Alberta determine to ban B.C. wine if we need we will do what ever it takes and if that means going to court we will continue to explore looking at that.”
He says it is the institute’s position Alberta violated inter-provincial free trade agreements in banning B.C. wine, a ban it has since suspended.
Prodan says his group is also keeping a close eye on the Comeau case currently before the Supreme Court of Canada.
He says the Comeau case involves the constitutionality of restricting alcohol imports from one province into another, adding a decision there is imminent.