You can make a difference in Alberta BC dispute

Boycott BC products

Are you becoming exasperated by BC NDP government treachery in trying to undermine the Alberta economy with its attempts to derail the expansion of the Kinder Morgan pipeline? If so, you may want to consider how you can make a difference by taking a lesson out of the green lobby campaign book on climate change. Those zealots advocate the organizing of millions of folks taking small steps to make an overall large impact. For instance, they ask consumers to give up eating meat to reduce the demand for beef, as they consider cattle a major source of methane, a greenhouse gas. One of the most legendary successes in consumer boycotts of food products was the US grape boycott in the 1960’s. More recently, albeit not a real boycott, was the drop in wheat consumption when consumers decreased their purchases of bread products to jump on the anti-gluten diet fad. The point is that small individual steps can make a difference.

Premier Notley recently took a popular step by banning any further purchases of BC wine by the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission, the government agency through which all retailers must buy their supplies. That was a wise move and could cost BC vineyards $70 million per year – it got the BC government’s attention.

One ponders why the BC government seems so adamant in escalating the pipeline issue even at the cost of an economic hit to sectors of its own economy – after all, the Trans Mountain pipeline has pumped millions of barrels of oil to the west coast for the past 50 plus years without any protest. It has more to do with the source of the oil, the Alberta oil sands, than with its’ transportation. Behind this issue is the unholy alliance between the BC NDP and the BC Green party, which has made the BC government beholden to extreme Green party philosophy. The other agitator is the BC Minister of the Environment, George Heyman. Few would know that from 2009-2012 he was the executive director of the Sierra Club of BC, a notorious green lobby group that wages a crusade against the oil sands. I expect Minister Heyman did not lose his anti-oil sands, anti-Alberta prejudices when he became BC Environment Minister. Manipulating the BC government to foment more opposition to the oil sands would make the Minister a shining hero to green zealots and steal votes away from the Green Party.

Readers might be familiar with the Sierra Club and the Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund – they created a nasty law firm called Ecojustice which creates nuisance and vexatious lawsuits to promote green causes. They are the ones behind the sage grouse legal case that caused much grief for ranchers and the energy industry in southeast Alberta. They also use lawsuits to restrict the use of herbicides and pesticides important to commercial crop production and they oppose irrigation expansion. One fears for commercial agriculture in BC with a disciple of the Sierra Club in government power – new restrictions and regulations are sure to be forced upon BC farmers and ranchers.

Alberta citizens can send the treacherous BC government a message by boycotting BC beer, BC fruit (Washington State produces fruit just as good), BC salmon or anything from BC for that matter. Don’t take holidays in BC – 20 per cent of BC’s tourist industry income comes from Alberta –a significant contributor to their economy. Don’t be dissuaded by counter arguments that BC can retaliate by not buying Alberta beef and pork. BC doesn’t remotely produce enough red meat to satisfy its own needs. Buying American beef instead doesn’t work either – the closest big US beef plant is in Pasco, Washington and besides being more expensive to buy, up to 25 per cent of the plant’s capacity is supplied by Alberta cattle.

We can also boycott the use of BC lumber – Alberta has a number of significant commercial sawmills that can supply almost all of our needs. The Alberta government could lead the way by banning BC lumber from government funded construction projects. The way to make these actions particularly effective is to tell your suppliers that you are boycotting specific BC products for economic reasons. If suppliers get on side it will start a bandwagon effect throughout the marketing and retailing chain. Besides, it’s better for the Alberta economy when citizens buy locally grown and produced products first. It’s your chance to make a difference and feel good about supporting your fellow citizens at the same time.

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