The pipeline discussion has devolved into threats of boycotts between Quebec and Alberta today. After François Legault, head of the Coalition Avenir Quebec, made it open that he would likely not support the Energy East pipeline, Alberta's Finance Minister was quick to imply Legault was being unnecessarily self-interested.
After this exchange, many Albertans have taken to Twitter to threaten a boycott of all things Quebecois.
TL;DR Albertans have begun threatening to boycott Quebecois products after CAQ leader François Legault claimed a pipeline would not be socially acceptable in Quebec, indicating his lack of support for the project.
Legault's claim was that a pipeline is not "socially acceptable" in Quebec, likely because of the large and heated discussion concerning the environment during the most recent provincial election.
It seems clear that Legault had the foresight to anticipate Quebec's reaction were he to agree to this "dirty energy" source.
Brian Jean, former leader of the Alberta party Wildrose, had a response for Legault, and it was pretty dramatic.
The Premier of Quebec said that "there is no social acceptability for oil in Quebec.” Yet he has no problem taking the transfer payments funded by Alberta oil. Quebec gets around 60% of all equalization. It's time to start boycotting Quebec products here in Alberta. #ableg pic.twitter.com/8FjphSEqsT— Brian Jean (@BrianJeanAB) December 9, 2018
Albertans have since responded with fervour and started to come together with lists of things that are imported to Alberta from Quebec in an effort to legitimize a boycott.
This is an example of milk imported into Alberta that we are now boycotting. I’ll post more products as I find them. This milk comes from Longueuil, Quebec. pic.twitter.com/iRoIT3NGP8— Oiler Fan 99/97 (@99oilerfan) December 9, 2018
Evidently, Albertans have considered Legault's comments as a direct attack on one of their most important revenue sources.
No drinking Molson no shopping at Rona cancel all Bell services no banking at BMO. Won't take long for them to feel it— Rob Brooks (@Pickfair) December 9, 2018
The Financial Minister of Alberta, Joe Ceci, even asserted that Legault "doesn't understand" the energy sector in Aberta.
This anger comes on the back of the release of information on this year's "equalization payment" plan from the federal government.
Does that mean we don’t have to put French on our packaging anymore?— Gary L. (@thekreap) December 9, 2018
Equalization payments are fund transfers given to provices to help pay for public programs and services.
The Quebec premier founded Air Transat,, good place to start when planning a vacation. Boycott Air Transat!— Lorne Meschishnick (@lmeschi) December 10, 2018
The system of these payments is meant to even out the funds of all provinces, taking from those provinces that are fiscally sound and giving to other that are struggling. The federal government also contributes funds.
This year, payments are being given to six provinces: Quebec, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island — Alberta is noticebly not on this list.
So it is understandable that Albertans are feeling the double-blow of being denied their pipeline, as well as being told to help fund the more that $13 billion Quebec will recieve this year as part of equalization.
Quebec says there is “no social acceptability” for oil from western Canada.— Scott Moe (@PremierScottMoe) December 10, 2018
That’s funny.. there seems to be a lot of social acceptability for equalization payments from western Canada.
Someone should check into that. pic.twitter.com/fG1bnYb62R
Premier Scott Moe spoke out about the current system of equalization and his comments harken back to comments made by Minister of International Trade, Francois-Philippe Champagne.
Champagne insisted that equalization payments are part of the Canadian spirit of cooperation that binds the provinces.
We can’t afford not to support our own.— Simon nomiS (@Nomis97) December 10, 2018
It seems some Albertans want country-wide collaboration when it relates to the pipeline... but not when it concerns equalizing provincial funds nationwide.
However, other Albertans evidently agree with Champagne and aren't seeing the benefit of boycotting within Canada, as that only serves to hurt us internally as a nation.
Mr. Jean, what kind of public servant, proud #Albertan, proud #Canadian - acts like a child & says "oh yeah"— Kari Major ❄ (@TwetKat) December 9, 2018
This is hyperbolic political rhetoric - that exacerbates our provincial conflicts.
Canada is a country of provinces. We are all in it together. #cdnpoli
Others are happy to joke about the simpler things they'd just never be able to give up...
I draw the line at Maple Syrup— Wayne L Wood (@woody72876781) December 10, 2018
But the reality is that many Canadians hope our nation will not devolve into the divisive politics we so often see from our southern neighbours.
The problem with this is that this is not dialogue, and it is not problem-solving. It is childish tit-for-tat behaviour. And this does not go anywhere. What kind of leader says stuff like this. @BrianJeanAB— Farah Kammourieh (@thephoenicia) December 9, 2018