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British Columbia government intervenes in wine dispute with Alberta


The raging conflict between British Columbia wineries and Alberta liquor stores has caught the attention of the British Columbia government.

The Alberta government’s alcohol wholesaler has warned British Columbia wineries that they will no longer sell their products in retail stores unless they stop shipping wine directly to consumers.

Roly Russell, British Columbia’s parliamentary secretary for rural development, said in a statement Monday that it couldn’t have come at a worse time, following the challenges of extreme weather.

“In recent years, our growers and wineries have faced unprecedented challenges due to extreme weather events and the adverse effects of climate change. Our wine industry has been grappling with unprecedented crop damage caused by two bouts of extremely cold winter freezes, wildfires and more. ” Russell’s statement said.

“The causes of extreme weather are global, but their impacts are felt acutely here at home and many BC growers and wineries are struggling with production shortages.”

Russell said Mike Farnworth, British Columbia’s minister of public safety and solicitor general, met with his Alberta counterpart to “urge them to stop what they’re doing.”

“This is just the beginning,” Russell said. “I know he is determined to achieve an outcome that will benefit our wine industry.”

Last monthAlberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis, which regulates the sale of alcohol in the province by controlling wholesale and distribution, sent a letter to B.C. wineries. She says the agency has been investigating the practice of Alberta consumers ordering wine directly from British Columbia wineries instead. to buy it in Alberta stores.

Last Wednesday, Wines of BC released a statement calling for a resolution to the dispute.

“While we are still unsure of the political motivation behind AGLC’s recent letter, it is disheartening for our local producers, who have already suffered great financial hardship over the past year,” the statement said. . “We fear being targeted again for political gain that has nothing to do with our industry.

With files from Lauren Pullen of CTV News Vancouver and The Canadian Press


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