Roundup: Begun, this wine trade war has

The dispute between the NDP governments of Alberta and BC picked up intensity as Alberta decided to ban future purchases of BC wine within the province – without the consultation of groups like Restaurants Canada – and everyone is demanding that Justin Trudeau step in and do something. Anything. Never mind that Trudeau did just days ago tell audiences in Edmonton and Nanaimo that the pipeline was approved and that it was going to get built, and that it was part of the deal that came with stronger environmental laws.

There are a couple of problems in all of this. For one, there’s nothing for Trudeau to actually do at this point – BC hasn’t done anything yet besides put out a press release, and they actually can’t do anything. There’s nothing they’re actually doing at this point for Trudeau to step in and stop. It’s all just rhetoric at this point. And ultimately, this is all politicking, because Rachel Notley needs an enemy to fight against to show Jason Kenney’s would-be voters that she’s doing the job, and John Horgan is holding onto power only with the support of the three Green MLAs in his province, and he needs to keep them happy, so he’s making noises to do so. Add to that the federal Conservatives are amping up the rhetoric to try and “prove” that Trudeau isn’t really on the side of the industry, or that he’s secretly hoping that these delays will make Kinder Morgan think twice about the project like what supposedly happened with Energy East (never mind that what happened with Energy East had more to do with Keystone XL being put back on the table and being the better option for TransCanada to pursue), everyone is trying to score points. So, until there’s something that Trudeau can do, maybe everyone should hold their gods damned horses and not make the situation worse.

Incidentally, Jagmeet Singh has been dodging questions on this very issue, trying to play his own politics while other levels of NDP government battle it out. So there’s that.

Good reads:

  • Justin Trudeau is off to Chicago today as the first stop on his US tour.
  • Trudeau’s lame joke of “peoplekind” at a town hall last week is making the right-wing in Canada and the US melt down.
  • The marijuana bill saw three ministers plus Bill Blair defending it in committee of the whole in the Senate yesterday, where concerns on all sides were raised.
  • We also heard from said ministers that full implementation of recreational cannabis could take an additional eight to twelve weeks after the bill passes.
  • The government unveiled new legislation to overhaul fisheries laws, which is being greeted with enthusiasm by scientists.
  • The government won’t say why they’re fighting a lawsuit brought forward by a sexual assault survivor in the military.
  • Canada will be selling combat helicopters to the Philippines, despite that country’s human rights abuses in their ongoing drug war.
  • Here’s a look at how different groups are preparing for the new anthem, which the government hopes can be sung at the Olympics.
  • Senator Marilou McPhedran has set up a confidential support line and legal counsel for any Senate staffer who has experienced sexual misconduct.
  • Kathleen Wynne is apparently preparing some kind of retaliatory measures in the even that Buy American provisions go through.
  • Here’s a look at the tightrope that Andrew Scheer is walking when it comes to championing social conservative ideas within his party.
  • Scheer won’t talk about any more harassment issues until the investigation into Rick Dykstra’s candidacy concludes.
  • Here are six highlights from the Maclean’s live discussion with Jagmeet Singh.
  • My column looks at the Ontario PC leadership race, and why it’s a problem that no member of caucus is in the running.

Odds and ends:

Here’s a look at how Dalhousie University arose from the end of the War of 1812, after we gave back “New Ireland” to the Americans after capturing it.

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