Canada Pipeline Feud Becomes Trade War as Alberta Boycotts B.C. Wine
By Andy Rowell
They say that oil and water do not mix. And now the proverb applies to oil and wine.
There is an escalating tension in Canada between the Albertan and British Columbian (B.C.) governments over the disputed Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline, which is due to transport tar sands from Alberta to the B.C. Coast.
On Tuesday, the Albertan premier announced that the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission would immediately halt the import of all wines from British Columbia, in response to the B.C. government's announcement at the end of January that it would be introducing the Environmental Management Act, which gives it the right to take action that would protect B.C.'s coastline and environment. This would also mean further analysis and review of the risks of an oil spill from the expansion of the pipeline, which is likely to result in a seven-fold increase in the number of oil tankers in B.C. waters.
Rachel Notley, the premier of Alberta, said at a news conference, "The wine industry is very important to B.C. Not nearly as important as the energy industry is to Alberta and Canada, but important nonetheless." Last year Alberta imported about 95 percent of its wine from B.C., worth about $70 million.
She added, "This is one good step to waking B.C. up to the fact that they can't attack our industry without a response from us. The Alberta Gaming and Liquor Control Board will put an immediate halt to the import of B.C. wine into Alberta."
"I'm also encouraging all Albertans: next time you're thinking about ordering a glass of wine, think of our energy workers. Think of your neighbours. Think of our community. Think about our province, and maybe choose some terrific Alberta craft beer instead."
The wine ban adds to the announcement last week by Notley that she was suspending talks to buy electricity from B.C., which could scupper a proposed $500 million a year deal.
"We did play by the rules, and we secured the approval of a new pipeline to tidewater to export energy products that support tens of thousands of jobs across this country," Notley said. "Alberta will not stand by and be the only province impacted by another province's refusal to play by the rules."
Notley's announcement caused an angry response from B.C. Premier John Horgan, who said in a statement, "If Alberta disagrees they can make that argument in the proper venue, in our court system. Our consultation on proposed new regulations hasn't even begun, but Alberta has seen fit to take measures to impact B.C. businesses."
He urged "Alberta to step back from this threatening position" and said he would "respond to the unfair trade actions announced today."
On Wednesday, Horgan added, "It's not the government's intention to respond in any way to the provocation. We're going to focus on the issues that matter to British Columbians and hope that cooler heads on the other side of the Rockies will prevail."
Critics slammed the move by Notley as "utterly absurd" and an act of "pointless grandstanding." One Vancouver-based tech entrepreneur, Nick Routley, tweeted sentiments expressed by many in the Province: "Alberta's #BCWine ban isn't just counterproductive, it's going to spike sales and galvanize anti-pipeline sentiment. Amateur-hour move."
The David Suzuki Foundation added on Facebook: "Does Alberta's boycott of B.C. wines have you perplexed? Us too. We support #bcwine—a fine local industry that when spilled doesn't kill marine life. #toastthecoast #stopkm #pinotnotpipelines. Supporting B.C. wines is easy but stopping a pipeline is hard." The Suzuki Foundation added, " We're also encouraging people to support Indigenous-led resistance to the Kinder Morgan pipeline."
The Canadian press is also reporting that as far away as Quebec, "environmental groups flocked to buy B.C. wine to show their support for the industry." On Wednesday, Quebeckers held a "mass purchase in solidarity to stop Kinder Morgan" at a liquor store in Montreal.
Members of the environmental group Equiterre bought bottles of B.C. wine, holding up signs stating, "Pinot Not Pipelines" and "QC loves BC wines."
Meanwhile, First Nations are gearing up for further protests against the pipeline next month. Members of the Tsleil-Waututh First Nation are calling for a mass demonstration on Burnaby Mountain in March. They are expecting hundreds of Indigenous people and supporters to join from across Canada.
Cedar George, a member of the Tsleil-Waututh First Nation, said, "I'll do whatever it takes to keep this beautiful British Columbia. Ninety percent of our diet came from that water. We are being stewards of the land and when we see an immediate threat to the water, it's time for us to stand up and delay this project."
"Supporting B.C. wines is easy but stopping a pipeline is hard. We're also encouraging people to support Indigenous-led resistance to the Kinder Morgan pipeline."David Suzuki Foundation / Facebook
Reposted with permission from our media associate Oil Change International.
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This week marks the official start of fall, but longer nights and colder days can make it harder to spend time outdoors. Luckily, there are several inspiring environmental films that can be streamed at home.
1. Kiss the Ground<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="ccc5f0c92a5603e68aec39e56b0db02a"><iframe lazy-loadable="true" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/K3-V1j-zMZw?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span><p><strong>Streaming On: Netflix</strong></p><p><strong>Premiere Date: Sept. 22</strong></p><p>Between <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/wildfires-california-washington-oregon-photos-2647585008.html" target="_self">wildfires devastating the U.S. West Coast</a> and <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/tropical-storm-beta-landfall-2647760268.html" target="_self">storms battering the Gulf</a>, the impacts of the <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/climate-change/" target="_self">climate crisis</a> can feel overwhelming right now. <em><a href="https://kissthegroundmovie.com/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Kiss the Ground</a> </em>offers an alternative to all of the bad news by focusing on solutions.</p><p>The film, directed by Josh and Rebecca Tickell and narrated by Woody Harrelson, explains how we can heal the Earth through "regenerative agriculture," farming practices that draw carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and into soil as a way to restore soil health, which in turn boosts ecosystems and food supplies.</p><p>"<em>Kiss the Ground </em>shows how feasible it is to make these changes at a grassroots level immediately and make a truly substantive impact with low cost and easy to implement solutions," Executive Producer RJ Jain said in an email. "This is why I got involved."</p>
2. Public Trust: The Fight for America's Public Lands<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="5338f7a2931e356910026e5fd76fac56"><iframe lazy-loadable="true" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/jsKMTAaj_wQ?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span><p><strong>Streaming On: YouTube</strong></p><p><strong>Premiere Date: Sept. 25, 2 p.m. EDT </strong></p><p>This <a href="https://www.patagonia.com/films/public-trust/" target="_blank">award-winning documentary</a> tells the stories of Indigenous activists, journalists, whistleblowers and historians working to protect America's <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/tag/public-lands" target="_self">public lands</a>. The film focuses on three political struggles: the shrinking of <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/tag/bears-ears" target="_self">Bears Ears</a> National Monument in Utah, the mining of Boundary Waters Wilderness in Minnesota and the opening of the <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/tag/Arctic-National-Wildlife-Refuge" target="_self">Arctic National Wildlife Refuge</a> to fossil fuel exploration.</p><p><em>Public Trust</em> was directed by David Garrett Byars and produced by Jeremy Rubingh. Patagonia Films, Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard and actor Robert Redford are executive producers. It will be <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OGjnIG7puzY" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">released</a> on YouTube in time for <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/national-public-lands-day-2640656776.html" target="_self">National Public Lands Day</a>.</p><p>"Our country is fortunate to have millions of acres of public lands, including National Parks, Monuments, Wildlife Refuges and Wilderness set aside for future generations," Redford said. "Sadly, these lands that belong to you and me are under unprecedented threats from the greed of big corporations, eager to weaken restrictions in the pursuit of profits. Many of our current politicians are also to blame. <em>Public Trust</em> tells the story of citizens who are fighting back. It's a much-needed wake-up call for all of us who want to preserve our unique and wild cultural heritage."</p>
3. David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="156438a30836a765d7a92982545fc334"><iframe lazy-loadable="true" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/B_OFZvAd05Y?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span><p><strong>Streaming On: Netflix</strong></p><p><strong>Premiere Date: Oct. 4</strong></p><p>Beloved nature broadcaster <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/tag/David-Attenborough" target="_self">David Attenborough</a> has spent his career introducing viewers to the wonders of our planet. In recent years, his footage of albatrosses swallowing <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/tag/plastics" target="_self">plastic</a> in <em>Blue Planet II</em> has been credited with <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/2018-fighting-plastic-waste-2624606566.html" target="_self">helping to ramp up</a> the global fight against plastic pollution. Now, in this <a href="https://www.wwf.org.uk/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">World Wildlife Fund</a> (WWF)-produced <a href="https://www.attenborough.film/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">documentary</a>, he reflects on the defining moments of his career and the devastating changes he has witnessed.</p><p><em>David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet,</em> which was also produced by Silverback Films and directed by Alastair Fothergill, Jonnie Hughes and Keith Scholey, features an intimate conversation between Attenborough and Sir Michael Palin as the broadcaster reflects on his life and a career that took him to every continent on Earth. In addition to streaming on Netflix, the movie will be available in select theaters starting Sept. 28.</p><p>"For decades, David has brought the natural world to the homes of audiences worldwide, but there has never been a more significant moment for him to share his own story and reflections," WWF executive producer Colin Butfield said in a <a href="https://www.wwf.org.uk/updates/david-attenborough-life-our-planet" target="_blank">statement</a>. "This film coincides with a monumental year for environmental action as world leaders make critical decisions on nature and climate. It sends a powerful message from the most inspiring and celebrated naturalist of our time."</p>
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