Kelowna Chamber of Commerce president Tom Dyas. — Image credit: Facebook

Kelowna chamber calls for cooler heads in Alberta-B.C. battle

Tom Dyas says current rhetoric by premiers may be good politics but people are being hurt

The president of the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce is publicly calling on the premiers of Alberta and B.C. to stop what it calls the “rhetoric” on inter-provincial trade and instead find ways to enhance the economies of both provinces.

Tom Dyas said Wednesday the current situation with two B.C.’s John Horgan and Alberta’s Rachel Notley trading threats in the media, along with what appears to be very little involvement from the federal government, threatens to cause major damage to the local economy.

Dyas said it’s harming small businesses and impacting thousands of families who rely on inter-provincial trade to make ends meet.

“Nobody wins when there is a boycott and the political uncertainty it creates will threaten much needed investment in both provinces,” said Dyas in a news release. “The ban on B.C. wine imports needs to stop now and both provincial leaders need to cool off before things escalate to include other products or sectors.

On Tuesday Notley said the province of Alberta’s liquor distribution branch will stop importing B.C. wine in retaliation for Horgan trying to stop or delay the expansion of the Kinder Morgan pipeline from Northern Alberta to Vancouver that carries bitumen.

“We have enough to be concerned with in our ongoing trade issues with the U.S.” said Dyas.“We don’t need to be fighting among ourselves as Canadians.”

He said many small businesses in the Central Okanagan are now the “collateral damage” in a political fight between two premiers.

“We need leadership that is more focused on solving problems rather than getting media sound bites that do nothing but appease their political supporters.”

Boycotts between businesses in both provinces will not resolve an issue that is ultimately the federal government’s responsibility said the chamber president. And that is why the Kelowna chamber and the Canadian Chamber of Commerce are both calling on the Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the federal Liberal government to step in and “stand up for the regulatory process that is at the heart of this dispute.”

It’s an echo of the public position local Conservative MP Dan Albas has taken on the trade dispute between Alberta and B.C.

In what appears to be a shot at Horgan, Dyas said Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion project went through a rigorous federal review before it was approved, and “while dismissing the result of that process as if it didn’t happen may be good politics, it actually threatens to create global uncertainty about the faith investors can have in Canada’s regulatory processes.”

He says leadership from the Trudeau, who has said publicly the pipeline project will go ahead, would go a long way in cooling this dispute.

To report a typo, email: edit@kelownacapnews.com.


@KelownaCapNews
newstips@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Rental housing proposed for Kelowna’s BC Tree Fruit site

Proposal will add 148 new rental units on old packinghouse site

Kelowna-based pot chain acquired by international cannabis company

Compass Cannabis Clinic acquired in multi-million dollar deal by Isodiol International Inc.

Life on Munson Pond looking pretty bright

Earth Day event in Kelowna showcases work that’s four years in the making

Reel Reviews: Parlour games or video games

We say, “Rampage is silly fun and Truth or Dare is just silly”

Rain barrels, compost bins popular on Earth Day in Kelowna

Regional District’s annual sale sees all rain barrels sell in 90 minutes

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

NHL playoffs weekly roundup

Maple Leafs look to stay alive tonight as they face elimination against Boston on home ice

Update: Penticton sign gets upgrade

$10-million competition for Pentic-ten

Woman found dead in car in Kamloops

A woman was found dead in a car in Kamloops, while two men also found unconscious

Electric vehicles more affordable than you think: BC Hydro

Myths blocking road to electric vehicle adoption

Kinder Morgan bungled pipeline public relations: poll

The survey suggests 58 per cent of Canadians believe the company is to blame for poor perceptions

Plane makes a surprise landing on the Coquihalla

Social media was alive Sunday night with pictures from Coquihalla commuters.

Royal baby: It’s a boy for Kate and William

The Duchess of Cambridge has given birth to her third child, a boy weighing 8 pounds, 7 ounces.

Vancouver’s Chinese community receives apology for historical discrimination

More than 500 people gathered at the Chinese Cultural Centre for the event

Most Read