TV Ontario to pull online game that shows pipeline bombing after Premiers of BC and Alberta complain

TV Ontario to pull online game that shows pipeline bombing by Adrian Morrow, March 22, 2013, The Globe and Mail with a report from The Canadian Press
The public broadcaster paid to have the game developed as part of a documentary on the debate over a proposed oil pipeline that would run through B.C. Part of the game shows people protesting, followed by the line exploding, an image that harkens back to the bombings of gas wells and other such infrastructure in northern B.C. A few years ago. “It’s disappointing to see a taxpayer-funded game and organization depict the blowing up of pipelines,” Alberta Premier Alison Redford said in a statement. “It’s exactly opposite of Canada’s interests given all of Canada benefits from a strong and diverse energy sector.” B.C. Premier Christy Clark also weighed in: “There is no place in debate for positions that advocate violence, and it is disappointing this video would even suggest that approach is appropriate,” she said in a statement. On Friday evening, a government source said, TVO decided to pull the game, which is promoted on its website. Ontario Education Minister Liz Sandals said she would look into the game – which was paid for by taxpayers – to see if it fits with the broadcaster’s educational mandate. But she said the station is at arms-length from politicians. “TVO is appropriately free of government interference in editorial content,” she said Friday. TVO spent about $100,000 on the game and documentary.

Alberta premier pipes up about controversial game showing bombing of pipeline by The Canadian Press, March 22, 2013, Calgary Herald
Alberta premier pipes up about controversial game showing bombing of pipeline
This screengrab from the online game Pipe Trouble shows bombing and protests are part of the Ontario taxpayer-funded game, with which Alberta Premier Alison Redford has taken issue. Photograph by: Craig Small/Vimeo , Screengrab The Canadian Press
Alberta Premier Alison Redford says she is disappointed to see a taxpayer-funded online game showing the bombing of a gas pipeline. TV Ontario provided money to create the game, called Pipe Trouble, to accompany a documentary about the pipeline debate in British Columbia. But questions have been raised about the game’s introductory video, which appears to show activists protesting before a pipeline blows up. The provincially funded broadcaster says the game is meant to engage people on both sides of the pipeline debate and it’s not taking sides. But Redford says a taxpayer-funded game depicting the blowing up of pipelines is contrary to Canada’s interests given that the entire country benefits from a strong and diverse energy sector. Redford says she’s encouraged that Ontario’s governing Liberals are looking into the matter. Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne has said that her government isn’t taking a side in the pipeline debate.

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