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Vicky Mochama: Pipeline feud finally hit public where it hurts their wine glasses

Time:2018-02-13 10:40wine - Red wine life health Click:

B.C. Alberta wine wars pipeline wine wars Notley wine

One hundred and fifty years ago, Confederation began with wine and vague threats. This moment is the future the founders wanted.

The discontent between Alberta and British Columbia over the Trans-Mountain pipeline has finally hit the public where it hurts: their wine glasses. After the B.C. environment minister announced that the government would look into restricting diluted bitumen shipments, Alberta reacted by calmly pulling on its camo gear and Kevlar helmet.

On Twitter, Alberta premier Rachel Notley announced that the province would no longer be importing British Columbian wine, saying on Twitter, "Let me be clear: Albertans didn’t want or invite this fight." In a statement, B.C. premier John Horgan responded: "I urge Alberta to step back from this threatening position."

Alright, so it's no Joan Crawford-Bette Davis feud, but wine is involved so we'll still break out the cheese board and take in the show.

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Notley and Horgan aren't the only Canadian leaders in a cross-border tiff.

While in Washington D.C., Ontario premier Kathleen Wynne promised to retaliate if New York state did not grant her province an exemption in its new Buy American procurement law. At the Canadian embassy she said in her best mob-guy-in-a-movie voice, “the kind of conflict that we’re in is bound to harm somebody. It’s just not as productive as finding a way to work together. So it’s kind of, by definition, a dangerous place to be.” Presumably all while flashing a gold watch and chewing on the end of a cigar.

Who doesn't love the smell of cross-border acrimony in the morning? I know I do.

Others disagree. The Rumble on the Rockies is proof of the federal government's failure, they say. For CBC, Jen Gerson wrote, "The one big job of the federal government is to prevent our Confederation into devolving into regional, pissy sub-national tribal states that are constantly at each others' throats for some economic scrap."

(And what, pray tell, is wrong with being a pissy sub-national tribal state? And how much longer can Quebec truly hold the position of enfant terrible in our large and fractious family? Saskatchewan, rise up!)

A quick scan of the constitution, however, reveals that internecine provincial warfare is baked into the foundational documents of our country. The delineation of power is very clear, except where it's not. And that's where we are, in legal territory as murky as an Ontario Baco Noir.

Moreover, anyone familiar with the Bachelor and Bachelorette television enterprises — the natural proxies to the Canadian federation — would know that while the goal is love and harmony, the process is actually, well, wine and vague threats.

And much like the Bachelor and Bachelorette, this may begin with wine but it will all end in tears.

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