Alberta’s Big Oil Pollution Party (aka UCP) Leader Rachel Notley Farts in the Wind with Sour Grapes Strategy against BC trying to protect its environment from American brute Kinder Morgan’s diluted bitumen shipments

Everyone everywhere, please, if you drink wine, buy BC wine for the month of February (or longer!) and show BC your support!

Since when did Rachel Notley give a damn about constitutionality?

Alberta’s NDP had automatic right to intervene in front of the Supreme Court of Canada in in Ernst vs AER in support of the Charter rights of Albertans, but only expressed silence, enabling the AER breaking Canada’s top law.

Comment from an Alberta:

It struck me immediately that Rachel is nobody to be talking about the constitutionality of anything, while she ignores Albertans’ Charter and human rights.

On Day One after the election in 2015, Notley proved she was just another Big Oil Pollution Enabling Tory – the first phone call she made as Premier was to lyin’ Doug Suttles, CEO of law-violatin’ aquifer-frac’er ‘n contaminator Encana.

Transporting bitumen diluted with condensate needs to be criminalized. Bravo to the citizens of BC for their courage and standing up to American bully corporation Kinder Morgan, and Canada’s pathetic pollution enablers, the NEB and Trudeau Government.

Shameful that BC’s John Horgan caved to China’s Greed ‘n Communism, the frac industry and LNG on Site C.

Stuff your whining BC wine boycott, Ms Notley!

Besides, seems Notley’s boycott violates TILMA, the BC and Alberta Trade Agreement:

….free flow of goods, services, investment, and workers.

The Agreement came into effect on July 1, 2010, and has been fully implemented since July 1, 2013.

Ernst will stick with her boycott of products made in Israel. It’s legal.

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With Alberta’s Sour Grapes Strategy, the official boycott of wine from British Columbia announced by the NDP Government yesterday, I guess we’ve seen the end of the appeal to social license. That sure didn’t last long!

Who knows, maybe Alberta Premier Rachel Notley has just handed her B.C. counterpart, John Horgan, an opportunity to win some seats in the solidly conservative Okanagan region of the province to the west of us.

Premier Notley’s apparent effort to channel Jason Kenney with the bizarre idea of a province-wide boycott of B.C. wine to punish the NDP Government in that province for trying to listen to overwhelming public opposition on the West Coast to pipelines full of diluted bitumen from Alberta is sure to have plenty of unintended consequences. Why not that one too?

I don’t know about you, dear readers, but I’m not opposed to the occasional boycott. I’m still drinking Tim Hortons coffee, mind you, but I haven’t shopped in a Wal-Mart for decades.

Still, I’m a little uncomfortable with the idea of someone else – even a politician I’m generally inclined to support – deciding for me what I’m going to boycott.

I’ll make that decision, thank you very much.

This is especially so when it comes to a government that’s just been self-righteously celebrating a victory in another attempted trade war with the other nearby province by filing an appeal to an interprovincial trade agreement.

As argued here not so very long ago, the B.C. Government’s Constitutional case for imposing limits on the amount of diluted bitumen that can be shipped in pipelines through its territory seems weaker than Alberta’s arguments against it, but it is not completely without merit since both levels of government in our federation have responsibility for environmental stewardship.

The constitutional case against a boycott of a product from another province would seem more clear-cut, and not at all in Alberta’s favour. What’s more, Alberta is as out to lunch as Saskatchewan was in the Great Licence Plate War as far as the rules of the New West Partnership Trade Agreement go.

Well, you say, so what? Something’s got to be done to get our bitumen to tidewater! [There is absolutely no need for Alberta bitumen to get to tidewater. It’s just corporate and investor greed demanding it] Fair enough, but speaking of unintended consequences, I suspect this kind of Trumpian, Kenneyesque nonsense will have the effect of stiffening Mr. Horgan’s spine – and if not his, then those of his supporters and their Green allies.

B.C. NDP opposition to the Kinder Morgan Trans-Mountain Pipeline expansion project always seemed half hearted – propelled by the fact opposition to the line is nearing consensus on the Lower Mainland, including among large numbers of conservative British Columbians, and the need to keep his government from collapsing by giving a little ground to the B.C. Greens, whose three MLAs are propping up the NDP.  …

I bet you Mr. Horgan’s government would have dropped its opposition to this project, just as it abandoned its promise to pull the plug on the controversial Site C Dam megaproject on the Peace River, if only Alberta or the disengaged and disinterested Trudeau Government could have given him a way to save face. Call this “social license” if you will.

Launching a war on B.C.’s wine industry will, of course, do the opposite. The fact it’s a constitutionally questionable tactic hardly strengthens Alberta’s demands that B.C. honour our interpretation of the constitution and drop its plans without the court fight it’s entitled to.

Indeed, Mr. Horgan would be entirely within his rights to pour emergency subsidies into the wine industry to defend it from Alberta’s actions – perhaps even winning enough support in the heartland of the Bennett Social Credit Dynasty to snatch a riding or two for the NDP.

This, of course, presumes Mr. Horgan won’t really upset the apple cart (another excellent product of the Okanagan Valley) and bring a little democratic reform to British Columbia – an outcome that would increase the likelihood of more Green political consciousness over time on the Coast, not less.

Meanwhile, as noted, in the short term, Alberta’s Sour Grapes Strategy will strengthen opposition to pipelines in Coastal B.C. Coast and in the long run perhaps send B.C. down the road to becoming British Catalonia.

Mr. Kenney, the leader of Alberta’s United Conservative Party, naturally supports this un-Notley-like nonsense. He knows he can boast the NDP got the idea from him – and not without some credibility. If by some miracle this nets a positive result – say, by forcing Ottawa to pay attention – he can claim the credit.

If it doesn’t, he’ll scream bloody murder, demand more of this foolishness, and say the NDP can’t deliver.

He knows – as does Ms. Notley – that a failure to achieve visible progress in the year remaining before an election could be fatal to the government’s re-election hopes. I suspect he also understands he’d have no more success with B.C. than Premier Notley is having, but he’ll cross that bridge another day.

Finally, Mr. Kenney also surely understands the fact the NDP is adopting his dumb approach is unlikely to cost the UCP a single vote. One has to ask, however, how many progressive voters would stay home on election day if they get they idea they’re getting UCP policies anyway from the NDP, so why not deal with the real thing?

Well, the NDP seems to have concluded this kind of grandstanding is necessary for any chance of re-election. Maybe they’re right and I’m wrong. They’re doing good work on enough other files that I certainly hope so.

Most British Columbians will feel no pain from Alberta’s effort, though, and with plenty of West Coast refineries south of the 49th Parallel ready to turn up the dial on production, there’s not much else we can do to get our way that will make B.C. even notice.

While the impact for some wine producers may be dire, I suspect most British Columbians will think, “Your loss, dumb-asses,” and get on with their lives. So what else is in our trade war tool kit? Boycotting Gala apples?

Personally, I won’t be boycotting B.C. wine.

Not, at least, until all members of Ms. Notley’s cabinet [And, all Alberta oil patch workers, management and CEOs,] are willing to give up their Okanagan retirement homes. 

This might even motivate me to make that summer drive through the region I’ve been pondering for the past dozen years or so. Xin-xin!* [Emphasis added]

* If you’re wondering, that’s Catalan for cheers.

‘Where does it end?’: Alberta businesses react to B.C. wine boycott by Clare Clancy, February 7, 2018, Edmonton Journal
Alberta businesses are split on the government’s decision to boycott British Columbia wines, with support for the cause clashing with concerns that the move went too far.

“I fail to see how the oil industry and the wine industry are equivalent rivals,” said Evan Watson, owner of the upscale cocktail bar and eatery Clementine, on Wednesday.

“I don’t necessarily believe that food security and agricultural sovereignty … should be used as political bargaining chips.”

Premier Rachel Notley announced Tuesday that the province would no longer import B.C. wines, hitting an industry that Albertans spent $72 million on last year.

The decision was in retaliation to a B.C. government move designed to stall [Or more accurately to try to protect BC’s environment from toxic diluted bitumen spills?] Kinder Morgan Inc.’s $7.4-billion Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, which would bring oil to the West Coast from Alberta. The B.C. NDP said more spill response studies are needed and proposed a restriction on increases in bitumen shipments until research is completed.

But for drinking establishments like Clementine, located on Jasper Avenue and 120 Street, the boycott sends the wrong message. Watson doesn’t believe the ban will effect his bottom line, but he’s concerned about long-term relationships with wineries.

“We work with small, family run farms,” he said, adding that he carries B.C. wines to support a burgeoning Canadian industry competing with 1,000-year-old vineyards in Europe.

“A lot of producers we work with are really at the forefront of discovering what it’s all about and making really awesome wine.”

He said the boycott will potentially hurt relationships with wineries that have previously travelled to Edmonton for pop-up tastings — “that pipeline is shut off to us.”

Customers in support of the boycott
But for Grant Schneider, owner of Aligra Wine and Spirits in West Edmonton Mall, customers filtering into the store Wednesday morning were on board with the premier’s push to avoid B.C. grapes.

“B.C. wines are not inexpensive. If we do not have a robust economy, people are not going to be drinking $25, $30 and $40 bottles of wine,” he said, noting that consumers are more likely to grab cheaper bottles during economic downturns.

“If we become a have-not province, we won’t have to worry about selling B.C. wines.”

Schneider’s cellar boasts hundreds of B.C. wines, but he said other producers will easily fill the gap. He said at least one customer who regularly bought B.C. wine asked for an alternative recommendation in light of the boycott.

“People are still going to drink wine,” he said. “The question now that begs to be answered is, ‘Is the demand for B.C. wines going to fall off?’” [Or increase with purchases by people around the world wanting to support and help protect beautiful BC from Kinder Morgan and Alberta’s hideously toxic diluted bitumen?]

‘Where does it end?’
The boycott could cause more serious problems, said Wade Brintnell, owner of the Wine Cellar liquor store on 102 Avenue and 124 Street.

He said that he doesn’t sell much B.C. wine, but most of his liquor and wine is imported from abroad through the Port of Vancouver during the winter months from October to April.

He’s concerned about the long-term implications if the B.C. government retaliates against Alberta.

“Where does it end?” he said Wednesday. “It sounds more like a playground pushing match.”

He added that one of the biggest hurdles for Alberta wine distributors is the ability for residents to order B.C. wine directly to their door. The boycott may even cause those sales to spike, he said.

“You’ve got this direct shipping option, and it’s generally cheaper.”

Sanction against B.C. knocks four per cent of wine products off shelves

Budding sommeliers might notice a reduction in selection as Alberta’s sanction on B.C. wine could knock 1,460 products from 117 B.C. wineries off liquor store shelves. That’s more than four per cent of the wine products approved for sale in Alberta, according to the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission.

B.C. wine also made up more than one-quarter of the volume sold in Alberta in 2017, the commission said. Albertans drank 12.8 million litres of B.C. wine last year, which was 28.9 per cent of wine volume sold in the province.

Three of the top-10 selling wines in Alberta will now be in scarce supply, as they’re from our western neighbours. Fans best stock up on Copper Moon Shiraz, Bodacious Smooth Red, and Jackson-Triggs PS Pinot Grigio while they can.

The $72 million Alberta paid to B.C. wineries last year was 12 per cent of the $592 million in total wine sales in the province.

However, a brewski remains king in Alberta. Although there are more than three times more wine than beer products usually available in the province, Albertans bought nearly six times as much beer than wine in 2016-17, said the commission’s annual report. [Emphasis added]

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