Oil and wine dominate tail end of Kelowna West by-election - InfoNews

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Oil and wine dominate tail end of Kelowna West by-election

Bottles of British Columbia wine are shown on display at a liquor store in Cremona, Alta., Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2018.
Image Credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
February 13, 2018 - 3:30 PM

KELOWNA - As the owner of an Okanagan winery, B.C. Liberal Ben Stewart might have a bit of a bias going into tomorrow's Kelowna West by-election.

The developing trade spat with Alberta and its ban on importing local wines has scored a direct hit on the Okanagan just as candidates are out plumping for votes.

“We need to stop this wine war, as it doesn’t benefit anyone and only threatens more jobs – particularly for smaller and newer wine producers who rely heavily on the Alberta market.” Stewart said in a press release. "We don’t need the B.C. NDP escalating this petty war between NDP governments — with the Okanagan paying the price for their posturing.”

Green candidate for Kelowna West Robert Stupka derided the response by Alberta to B.C. NDP premier John Horgan’s position on the Kinder Morgan pipeline expanion.

““The clean-up plan they have is bogus.  A spill puts a large part of the B.C. economy at risk,” Stupka said. "The leadership of this province is right to be asking these questions and defending a large part of the B.C. economy.”

Libertarian Party candidate Kyle Geronazzo said free passage of goods between provinces is guaranteed and pipelines are under federal jurisdiction, so the province should back off.

“Horgan and Weaver are to blame for this,” he added. “Ultimately, the solution going forward is let the pipeline be built. It’s legal.”

Geronazzo said he will be joining supporters tomorrow evening, Feb. 14, at Mickey’s Pub in Kelowna at 6:30 p.m.

Stupka said he would be awaiting election night results at his campaign office on Main Street in Westbank after the polls close.

A representative from Ben Stewart’s campaign said he would be spending the evening at his westside winery, Quail’s Gate.

NDP candidate Shelley Cook did not respond in time to be included in this article.

BC Conservative candidate Mark Thompson did not respond to request for comment.

What you need to know about tomorrow's Kelowna West by-election.

— This story was corrected at 7:02 a.m. Feb. 14. An earlier version misidentified the Green candidate. 

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