An Australian document filed in its wine pricing trade case against Canada and three provinces contains a passage quoting Nova Scotia Premier Tim Houston.

The May 2019 document filed with the World Trade Organization quotes Houston’s short exchange with the president of the Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation during a legislature committee meeting in 2014.

Houston, then a fledgling member of the opposition, asked Bret Mitchell, the president of the corporation at the time, about the agency’s markup for local wine.

The 128-page Australian document accuses Canada, Nova Scotia, Ontario and Quebec of pricing practices that contravene the 1994 General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade.

Liberal Opposition Leader Zach Churchill says the fact Houston was named is a “laughable coincidence,” given he cautioned them about speaking out against a new program to subsidize wine bottlers, saying it could lead to another trade challenge.

On Tuesday, Houston announced a pause on that program after drawing heavy fire from the opposition parties and the agricultural wine sector.

 This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 21, 2024