The Alberta NDP’s Sour Grapes Strategy will only strengthen Coastal B.C.’s nearly universal opposition to pipelines

Posted on February 07, 2018, 2:00 am
9 mins

PHOTOS: Grape vines grow in B.C.’s beautiful Okanagan Valley, one of the prime wine producing regions of the world (Photo: Kelowna Wine & Cuisine Flickr, Creative Commons). Below: Alberta Premier Rachel Notley, B.C. Premier John Horgan, and Alberta Opposition Leader Jason Kenney.

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! 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. (Sorry I said there were four of them in an earlier post. My bad!)

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 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!*

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

29 Comments to: The Alberta NDP’s Sour Grapes Strategy will only strengthen Coastal B.C.’s nearly universal opposition to pipelines

  1. Farmer Brian

    February 7th, 2018

    I happen to agree with you David, I doubt Alberta will gain much public support in B.C. with this move. I believe Premier Notley didn’t get the answer she wanted from Justin Trudeau last week in relation to how far he is willing to go in support of Transmountain. She is also acutely aware that if she challenges John Horgan’s latest push to delay the pipeline in court it will take to long. Premier Notley knows if she doesn’t have shovels in the ground by the next election she is done. All she has left is a trade war with B.C. to improve her political fortunes in Alberta.

    It is quite interesting to me that the political fortunes of John Horgan, Justin Trudeau and Rachel Notley will all be affected by the outcome of The Kinder Morgan Transmountain expansion. How it all shakes out remains to be seen.

    Reply
    • Sam Gunsch

      February 9th, 2018

      Climenhaga’s argument shared by BC political observer… and others… possible backfire consequences.

      https://ricochet.media/en/2116/quebec-groups-join-bc-alberta-wine-brawl

      excerpt: ‘Jeremy Nuttall, parliamentary correspondent for B.C.-based media outlet The Tyee, seemed to be taking the looming trade war in stride when he tweeted jokingly that “B.C. is planning to dynamite the mountain passes at the Alberta border and expropriate the existing Kinder Morgan pipeline to turn it into the world’s largest waterslide.”

      More seriously, he argued that we may see the B.C. hospitality industry rejecting Alberta products out of solidarity.

      Were I an Alberta beef farmer, I’d be concerned about how the good beef-eating people of the Okanagan, or the myriad restaurants in Vancouver, Victoria, Whistler, will react to this.
      — Jeremy Nuttall |纳兰展眉 (@Tyee_Nuttall) February 6, 2018’

      Reply
      • Bob Raynard

        February 11th, 2018

        I saw an interesting story about this a few days ago, and unfortunately I can’t remember where. Apparently BC has no beef packing plants, so BC beef producers have to ship their beef to Alberta for processing. Thus BC beef would be included in an Alberta beef boycott.

        Reply
  2. Linda Pushor

    February 7th, 2018

    Hi David. Just a couple of points that I think have been overlooked. First, as far as Kenney and his boycott plans, he has only offered one, that being shutting off the flow through the existing Trans Mountain pipeline. The industry has voiced their opposition to this plan as it would have large negative financial, and possibly legal, consequences not just for bitumen producers, but also for the Alberta gas that is transported through the pipeline with bitumen and diluents. As there is so little excess storage capacity in Alberta, it would also lead to job losses here at home. That is all in addition to lost revenue to the government. The only other idea he has offered is to toll BC gas travelling from northern BC through Alberta and on to the US. That idea is nonsensical since that was one of the earlier ideas floated by BC in the earlier disagreements with BC over this pipeline. Alberta argued that a toll on products flowing through a pipeline is in violation of trade agreements.

    As to the boycott of BC wine, Premier Notley might just have found the only BC product that can be used in a boycott without being offside with the New West Partnership or any other laws. Liquor is solely under the jurisdiction of the provinces and each province determines what liquor products will be distributed and sold in the province.
    A positive outcome of this boycott would be if the vinyards and wineries in BC have enough clout to pressure Horgan to back down, or at least start the legal proceedings without further delay.

    Reply
  3. J.E. Molnar

    February 7th, 2018

    When it comes to the heavy lifting, Justin Trudeau will need to do a better job to outfox B.C. premier John Horgan.

    Stepping up with a more succinct and forceful message might be more helpful than sitting on one’s hands. The pipeline approval is a federal issue and while Notley is showing backbone with the “sour grapes strategy”, she need not be the villain in this scenario. Her government’s actions could poison B.C.-Alberta relations for years to come if she continues to go down this path. Trying to compete with Jason Kenney for bombast and bluster awards is a non-starter. Notley should channel her energy toward getting Mr. Trudeau to put an end to B.C.’s reckless efforts to sabotage the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline. A game of political “chicken” likely results in all parties losing substantially — for years to come.

    Reply
  4. Athabascan

    February 7th, 2018

    I am a big fan of Rachel Notley and her scandal-free NDP government, but this…, really?

    Dear Premier Notley,

    I’ve been hearing that Kenney supports your wine ban. That’s the test right there! If Kenney agrees and supports what you are doing, then you SHOULDN’T be doing it!

    Sincerely,

    Your biggest Supporter

    Reply
    • Stranger

      March 21st, 2018

      Hear hear, However, as a supporter and active volunteer myself, I do see the inherent value in taking a definitive measure. Though I believe it to be childish move, most Albertans wish to see definitive action. Though I don’t wish to see a sellout of values, having reached out to a selection of Albertan’s, I do value the reassurance in the party it provides.

      Reply
  5. Farmer Dave

    February 7th, 2018

    We are hearing the B.C. Government complaining that Alberta, by cutting off B.C. wine, is hurting small wine making businesses. I know a couple of small wine making businesses in B.C. and their grape growing property and businesses are worth millions of dollars. And I know many people in Alberta working in the oil sector, including other Canadians, who would benefit if the Trans-Mountain pipeline was built, all most all of them not worth millions of dollars (except for some oil companies worth millions who may hire these oil workers). And yet there are some restaurants in Alberta upset about the boycott of B.C. wines. Do those complaining Alberta restaurants not realize that if the pipeline is allowed to be built that oil workers along with others who may benefit may attend their restaurants and possibly double or triple their business?

    Reply
  6. Sassy

    February 7th, 2018

    The strategy seems bizarre and very ‘unNDP’ on the surface.

    I think Kinder Morgan, for purely financial reasons, has wanted to get out of this pipeline for some time. The delaying tactics (latest announcement was a December 2020 start-up date) was done to harm the NDP. Now the Houston multinational’s intentions may be flushed out and that’s a good thing for all of us (http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/pipeline-notley-horgan-1.4519530). It’s time to move on from transporting dilbit through pipelines or rail (e.g. by processing the tar into bitumen balls, building a national refinery in Fort McMurray to produce petroleum products, spending more money and energy on renewables, etc.) If I’m right, the wine will soon be flowing again.

    Reply
  7. February 7th, 2018

    Hello Dave

    I agree with your assessment, alas! However, last night the wife and I enjoyed chuckling about the March on Fernie (see the twitter string #MarchOnFernie). Many Irregulars participating from both sides of the divide, and even BC Ferries providing naval support in the campaign. The War of the Sour Grapes!

    (Wow! ‘Xinxin’ really is Catalan for ‘cheers’!)
    cheers,
    DB

    Reply
  8. Sam Gunsch

    February 7th, 2018

    FWIW, probably going to be lots of time for further escalations because according to some commentators, no federal intervention thru the courts can happen until BC actually passes regulations:

    excerpt: ‘But for now, B.C.’s threat to close its borders in whole or in part to Alberta’s bitumen is only a proposal. And that means that for all of the inches upon inches of virtual column ink expended on calling for so-called federal leadership, Trudeau can hardly take a province to court for usurping Ottawa’s constitutional powers over what remains a statement of intent.

    That will change if B.C.’s intentions are translated into actual regulations. Until that happens, there is nothing concrete for the federal government to take to court. ‘

    https://www.thestar.com/opinion/star-columnists/2018/02/07/justin-trudeau-lacks-means-for-quick-end-to-alberta-bc-feud.html

    Reply
  9. Chris

    February 7th, 2018

    Maybe we Albertans should make some “Save The Pipeline” socks and give them to our Prime Minister. Then he might take some interest while the country’s left (and “Left”) rips itself apart.

    Reply
    • Athabascan

      February 8th, 2018

      Ok, I’ll go for that, but first we should make some “Save the Environment” socks and give them to All Canadians, especially the Right-wingers..

      Reply
  10. Sam Gunsch

    February 7th, 2018

    Other’s have speculated on this, but the political debate and responses by our gov’t and opposition parties to anyone questioning the environmental safety our oilsands infrastructure, again, raises the question as to whether Alberta is now run by and for the industry party of petroleum…?

    http://edmontonjournal.com/news/insight/graham-thomson-oil-deep-state-controls-alberta-former-liberal-leader-kevin-tafts-new-book-says

    http://www.macleans.ca/opinion/is-there-a-deep-state-in-albertas-oil-industry/

    ============
    https://albertaviews.ca/one-party-state/

    excerpt: ‘Moreover, a mutual dependence has emerged between the government of Alberta and the energy sector. The government frames issues of public policy to serve the political interests of the governing party and the economic interests of the powerful actors in the oil and gas sector.’

    ==============

    Another example… when the petro-industry nullified Stelmach’s PCs’ royalty review and funded the Wildrose Party growth… excerpt: ‘Industry’s blitz on the government worked. Six of the panel’s 11 oil sands recommendations—most noteworthy, the oil sands severance tax the panel regarded “as an absolutely essential component of a ‘fair’ royalty system”—were rejected.

    The way our government protects and privileges Alberta’s oilpatch also is evident in the approach of regulators who are supposed to make decisions in the public interest, not merely in the interests of the oil industry. Clearly this is not the case in the oil sands project approval process, where the Energy Resources Conservation Board (ERCB) is the lead provincial agency.;’

    https://albertaviews.ca/petrostate/

    Reply
    • Athabascan

      February 8th, 2018

      Judging by Notley’s actions, it would seem that Alberta is indeed run by the fossil fuel industry.

      No need for governments, just let the big 5 tar sand players dictate public policy. Who is the real premier of this province anyway?

      Reply
  11. Albertan

    February 7th, 2018

    Agreed. Now, B.C. Premier Horgan has announced that there will be no retaliatory action to the wine boycott.
    Then, there’s this:
    ” ‘School yard politics’over wine infuriates B.C. based Alberta winery owner. Chris Foder isn’t sure about future of his wine which is produced in B.C. but destined for sale in Alberta.”
    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/british-columbia-wine-alberta-owners-penticton-produced-1.45248867
    Perhaps Premier Notley is well aware that right wing “Okanagan’ votes could possibly go to the B.C.NDP, just as supporting the AB oil and gas industry could send votes the AB NDP way, no matter how things turn out. After all, anything that Premier Notley does to nullify votes for the old fogey Kenny UCP is a plus in my books. 🙂

    Reply
  12. Farmer Dave

    February 7th, 2018

    I’d say Horgan has boxed himself in with his actions on the pipeline against Alberta and is now hoping for Trudeau to come and rescue him (I’m predicting Trudeau won’t rescue Horgan). I’d say Horgan’s government won’t win the next election in B.C. because of his actions and Notley’s actions may give her a big win in Alberta.

    Reply
  13. Sam Gunsch

    February 8th, 2018

    FWIW, former BC Liberal chief of staff agrees with Climenhaga:

    excerpt: ‘But know this: her grandstanding is bound to get British Columbians’ backs up, resistant as they are to being bullied and browbeaten.

    Notley of all people should know that.

    She must know that her former BFF—also known out here as Hulk Horgan—is not now going to just lay down, roll over, and assume the fetal position that Trudeau has retreated to, in wishing away his Kinder Morgan nightmare.’

    https://www.straight.com/news/1029676/martyn-brown-rachel-notleys-days-whine-and-poses
    straight.com

    Martyn Brown: Rachel Notley’s days of whine and poses’

    Reply
  14. K. Larsen

    February 8th, 2018

    I understand the claim there is an estimated price discount because of a lack of pipeline capacity to tidewater.

    However, where is the evidence that a bigger pipeline dumping higher volumes of DilBit on the world market will bring more money per barrel to Alberta? There really is only speculation to that effect.

    However, we do have evidence of what happens when Alberta DilBit is removed from the market place. This happened during the Ft. McMurray fire storms. The sour oil price then was around $38.30 perbarrel. When the fire started May 1, 2016 it took an immediate jump up to $46.22. It then trended back to the statistical mean when the plants came back on line in July and August.

    Rather than flood the market with DilBit, a resource owner might be better off looking at ways to lower production and perhaps raise prices.

    Reply
  15. David

    February 8th, 2018

    The Alberta Government was fairly patient with the lengthy process to review the Kinder Morgan Pipeline even when the the BC government pledged to use every tool in it’s tool box to stop the pipeline. However, frustration in Alberta about the very drawn process to approve pipelines continued to grow, especially after the recent cancellation of the Energy East pipeline. It should not be surprising an explosion happened in Alberta right after the BC government recently seemed to go improv and try create some new tools that it doesn’t have and that don’t exist.

    I am not a big BC wine drinker, so this boycott will not impose any real hardship on me. I heard reports that 25% of BC wine is exported to Alberta and it is one of BC’s largest export market, so there will be an economic impact on BC, along with the $500 million energy contract negotiations that were cancelled. I don’t know how the average BC voter will respond to all this, but I do know enough to know that BC is certainly not unanimous in its opposition to the pipeline. The opposition is very concentrated in the lower mainland of BC, but other parts of BC where the economy is more resource based support it. I suppose it remains to be seen who people in Kelowna, where the damage will be most felt from the wine boycott will blame for this – its own government for provoking its neighbour or Alberta for taking the action.

    Given so few major pipelines have been approved in recent years, it is hard to argue the oil industry is so powerful or dominates the process – environmentalists seem to have the upper hand and have won many battles recently. However, those that depend on the resource economy (and that is a lot of working people in Alberta and BC, not just large corporations) are quietly and not so quietly concerned if all projects are quashed, their jobs will be toast. While opinion in Alberta is clearer, a lot of people in BC want their government to protect their jobs and their economy as well as the environment. If the BC Government forgets or ignores this, it may be at their peril.

    Reply
  16. political ranger

    February 8th, 2018

    You, me, any of us just cannot hide our true character forever and Alberta’s primary character traits are out in full force on this one; ignorance, belligerence and jingoism.
    And if that’s not enough, our “new” and “progressive” Premier has moved solidly over to the side of Kenny, harper and Klien.
    This latest state-sanctioned embargo on what I or any citizen can or cannot drink is outrageous. In terms of the state controlling what it’s citizens can or cannot do, this is no different than telling children that they must be the gender on their birth certificate, no different than telling families that they must send their children to the public school, no different than telling farmers that people who work on their farms must adhere to existing labour laws. When the state begins to interfere in your personal affairs, for the sole benefit of the state, then you are no longer in a free and democratic polity.
    As to what the state should be doing … well, at the top of that list is protecting citizens, their property and the environment they live in. Exactly what Horgan says he is doing.
    Since when has it become unacceptable to prepare for and protect against environmental harms and property damage by project proponents solely concerned with their own profits? Do we just pretend that Lac Magantic won’t happen again Or Kalamazoo? Or that tanker collisions like the one in the East China Sea last month just won’t happen here?
    Time to wake up folks!
    This has very little to do with shipping oil, or tar, as the case may be, and everything to do with just another belligerent Albaturdan politician trying to push their bizarre and outdated point of view on the rest of Canada.

    Reply
  17. Geoffrey Pounder

    February 8th, 2018

    “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!”

    Retaliation in kind.
    Last I heard, two wrongs don’t make a right.
    Parents usually try to train their children out of this behavior.

    The “social licence” ploy never made a lick of sense. Govts can’t award themselves social licence. Social licence comes from affected communities. Notley never bothered to meet with affected communities or their local representatives or address their concerns. She made her case to business elites across the country. What happened to the D in NDP?
    Notley’s increasingly disingenuous spin and childish antics / desperate tactics leave this Albertan (former NDP voter) shaking his head.

    Reply
  18. Geoffrey Pounder

    February 8th, 2018

    “[Kenney] 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.”

    Postmedia and CBC journalists endlessly repeat this claim without explanation.
    Where is the evidence? Who is going to base their vote for Notley on a pipeline?

    Lefties won’t abandon Notley over a pipeline decision that is out of her hands. Righties won’t vote NDP even if Notley built a billion pipelines. Why did Liberals and moderate Conservatives vote NDP in 2015? A matter of integrity, perhaps, but not pipelines.
    ————-
    Notley wasn’t elected on pipelines. In fact, the NDP’s 2015 platform explicitly opposed dilbit export pipelines:

    “[The PCs] squandered Alberta’s natural resource wealth, failed to achieve greater value-added processing in Alberta, and have focused only on more export pipelines for unprocessed bitumen – sending our jobs to Texas.”

    Notley campaigned on a fairer return to Albertans in royalties “to ensure full and fair value for Albertans”. She quickly reneged on that promise.
    “We will take leadership on the issue of climate change…” by backing new export pipelines and oilsands expansion. Another failure.

    If Notley loses in 2019, it may be because she compromised her integrity, squandered political capital on a non-essential pipeline, and lost voters’ trust.

    Reply
  19. Paul Anderson

    February 9th, 2018

    I have for some time felt that Rachel Notley is perhaps the country’s most skillful politician, while continuing to wonder whether she is in reality a Blairite third-way technocrat or, in her heart of hearts, a socialist by conviction. But in instigating this wine-for-pipelines tempest, she seems to have lost her cool, and control of the tone of the debate. First, I’m not sure this plays particularly well even in Alberta, first in the call for federal politicians to overrule provincial jurisdiction in the area of energy, which sets off certain echoes here. Second, in perhaps underestimating the pride Western Canadians have in B.C.’s wine-making–and the Okanagan in general. Third, in retaliating against local winemakers on behalf of a Texas-based pipeline giant. It’s a bit like punching the littlest kid in school to impress a bully. Then there’s the fact that most of these B.C. wineries are in fire country (as are those in California, Washington and Oregon), and are moreover, increasingly threatened by drought. So thank you, climate-catastrophe-disinformation-campaigning fossil fuel extractors, for that.

    Horgan is doing what he said he would do, was elected to do (unlike his decision on Site C, which makes a climbdown here much less likely), and which a significant segment of his constituents passionately want. Can Premier Notley really say the same? True, she said she would be the Premier for all Albertans, but did that primarily mean for those who did not vote for her?

    Reply
  20. Geoffrey Pounder

    February 9th, 2018

    I don’t see my comments submitted yesterday. If there’s a problem, please advise. Thx.

    Reply
    • David Climenhaga

      February 10th, 2018

      Readers are reminded that this blog is really the author’s hobby, and not his business. While I am getting rather long in the tooth, I continue to work at a full-time, engaging job that requires a certain amount of travel. That has been the case this week. I have been on the road for my employer and my days and evenings have been quite busy. This prevented me last night from moderating and posting comments. The same thing happened this afternoon, although I did manage to write and post a short story while I awaited my flight home at Ottawa Airport. I am now back in Alberta and should be able to post comments in a more timely fashion. I don’t mean to sound cranky about this. I am grateful to my readers for their loyalty and interest. Nevertheless, from time to time delays in posting comments like this are bound to happen, as are periods when posts are of necessity less frequent. DJC

      Reply
      • Geoffrey Pounder

        February 10th, 2018

        As long as you continue to write insightful columns on issues that matter to Albertans and Canadians, more and more readers will wish to join the discussion. So congratulations on the blog’s success. You may have to hire staff eventually. A global media empire taking root?
        Many thanks for your invigorating columns. As readers abandon the corporate mainstream media (industry shills, govt stenographers), it’s to blogs like this one that people will come to seek original analysis and journalistic integrity.
        In the meantime, perhaps a note below the comment entry box advising readers of current limitations on comment moderation may be helpful.
        Write it…and they will come.

        Reply
  21. Brett

    February 9th, 2018

    I believe that this is a federal issue that has to be resolved at that level.

    As usual, provincial politicians on both sides of the mountains are playing politic big time. Horgan has the Greens who hold the balance of power, Notley has an election to start preparing for.

    My wish is for the Provincial, in every sense of the word, Premiers to step down and let the Federal Governmnet do what they are supposed to be doing.

    Cannot for the life of me believe that Kenney thinks recalling the Legislature will help in any way. He truly is nothing less than a huge hot air balloon.

    Reply
    • David

      February 10th, 2018

      As a political actor Kenney has had troubles getting on center stage on this issue for various reasons. Recalling the legislature would give him another chance to try grab the spotlight her, although I am not sure anything useful or productive would come from that

      Reply

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