The Stampede Wresting match that is the battle of TransMountain pipeline played out to its provincial audiences this week. Premier Horgan took his brass knuckles out of his trunks and Premier Notley hit him over the head with a chair. All the while, the federal ref didn’t see a thing. Stu Hart would have been proud.
Notley eye-gouged the BC wine industry with a boycott. Then Stampede Wrestling Villain BC Premier Horgan went back to his corner to think up new wrestling moves. Horgan’s ploy is to agree to go to court to see if BC has the power to limit bitumen shipments in the TransMountain pipe (and rail cars). For the moment Alberta Heroine Notley suspended the ban on BC wine.
Jason Kenney, opposition leader in Alberta, spent the week standing at ringside trying to get Notley to “tag” him so he could get in on the action. The main referee in the match, Prime Minister Trudeau slipped out of the country, disguised in an Indian Kurta.
THIS IS HUGELY EXPENSIVE TO THE ECONOMY
A Scotiabank report calculated that delays in pipeline approvals and the discounted price of bitumen oil will cost the Canadian economy $15.6 billion this year almost a full one percent of Canada’s GDP. BC wineries report losses in sale of about $1.0 million in the first two weeks of the ban. Alberta could get slapped with a $10 million dollar fine for breaking interprovincial free trade rules.
THIS BATTLE IS FAR FROM OVER
- Horgan can be sneaky about the question he asks the court. He will continue do all he can to poison the investment climate for the pipeline.
- Notley has assembled an all-star wresting advisory committee to think up new ways to retaliate. And the Alberta government is also publicizing the cost to the economy of restricted access.
- Burnaby is going to court to complain that the NEB has overstepped its bounds when allowed pipeline construction to proceed without the municipal approvals.
- The environmental lobbyists are accompanying some indigenous First Nations to court to complain that there wasn’t enough consultation.
- The NEB granted a couple of construction permits to build sections of the line.
- The BC activists are getting ready to demonstrate and disrupt construction and,
- Some national newspapers and other groups are beginning to shine a spotlight on the environmental lobbyists. They point to the massive amounts of US money flowing to the groups and paid protesters. Some indigenous leaders are labeling them as “Eco-colonialists”.