February 25, 2018

INQUIRING REPORTER: Should Alberta boycott BC wine?

11 February 2018, 01:19 | Austin Hogan

Alberta boycotts BC wine in pipeline dispute

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The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers is against the politicization of the conflict between the governments of Alberta and British Columbia concerning the latter's unwillingness to accept the Trans Mountain oil pipeline expansion projects.

University of B.C. political scientist Max Cameron, who previously specialized in trade relations, said it's a classic example of "a tit-for-tat strategy" where players retaliate against each other with "measures meant to signal the seriousness of the issue" under dispute. He maintains his focus right now is on this month's budget.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pledged Thursday to do whatever it takes to get the Kinder Morgan pipeline from Alberta to British Columbia built.

"I think it was a very ill conceived decision by Premier Horgan in the first place".

The dispute started after BC announced further shipments of bitumen from Alberta would be limited and that's considered a direct threat to the expansion of the Kinder Morgan's pipeline which ends in Burnaby.

By fighting the Kinder Morgan pipeline, he's hoping to appease environmental interests that threaten a civil war against him.

"I don't know how much it will affect us", he said.

On Wednesday, Premier John Horgan said he "will not be distracted" by the neighbouring province's "retaliatory" moves.

"In the short term, I'm pretty sure we can find a happy customer to enjoy the wine".

"I don't think it's in anyone's interest to have duelling premiers", he added.

Horgan said he's within his rights to consult with the people of B.C.

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"Alberta doesn't grow grapes, so they don't do wine", said Ocenas. "(We) hope that cooler heads on the other side of the Rockies prevail".

She also has the Alberta media braying at her to stand up and defend the province's oil industry and the fragile economic recovery happening there.

The two other Western provinces expressed concern about the trade dispute between neighbours. "We're reviewing our options and we'll take action when appropriate", he said.

The Alberta government isn't aiming its anger at multinational corporations with shareholders, Prodan said.

Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil says he's concerned over increasing inter-provincial tensions around the future of the Trans Mountain pipeline.

"Alberta won't back down, but we need Trudeau to step up", said Alberta Premier Rachel Notley, an important Trudeau ally, on Twitter.

A spokeswoman for McKenna said that the minister made clear the federal government won't stand down and allow a provincial government to infringe on Ottawa's constitutional authority to decide about interprovincial infrastructure projects such as pipelines.

"Conversely, Alberta coming back and hitting British Columbia with an industry that is completely irrelevant to the oil and gas sector is disappointing to say the least".

Other politicians are speaking up about the dispute.

"Trudeau needs to do his job", said Conservative MP Michelle Rempel, from Calgary.

Beyond mouthing passive platitudes supporting Trans Mountain, Trudeau has done nothing to advance a pipeline that has earned his government's blessing after it passed an exhaustive regulatory approval process.

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