B.C., Alberta Trade War Heating Up

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CALGARY — Boycotts continue to expand in the brewing trade war between Alberta and B.C.

Last week, Alberta’s NDP government announced a ban on the import of B.C. wine. This move was made in response to the B.C. NDP government’s proposed restrictions on shipments of oil-sands bitumen, which has slowed the expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline.

In response to the wine ban, the B.C. Wine Institute issued a press statement. “We are disappointed that the Alberta Premier and Government are aggressively boycotting B.C. wineries over a yet-to-be-determined British Columbia government policy in a different sector,” it read. “The B.C. wine industry has worked hard to build a positive relationship and partnership with Alberta, particularly in the wine, culinary and tourism sectors, including having collaborated on multiple campaigns directly with the AGLC.”

There has also been speculation that beer produced in B.C. could be the next target should the trade war continue.

Taking cues from its provincial government, Calgary-based Progressive Group for Independent Business (PGIB) has launched a campaign against Colorado-based Smashburger, reports the Vancouver Sun. The organization’s justification for this action is that the chain, which has six locations in Alberta, serves B.C. beef.

The PGIB also pushed for a boycott of Earls restaurants in 2016, following the chain’s decision to purchase its beef from the U.S. Earls reversed this decision later that year — a move that the PGIB has claimed credit for.

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