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KNOX – Looking ahead to B.C. in 2019: driven crazy by Rachel Rockets

One thing led to another..

News item: Alberta is threatening to cut the flow of oil to B.C. in retaliation for B.C.’s attempts to block the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

Victoria, 2019

“NICE CAR,” the guy on the sidewalk said, admiringly. “How much does it weigh?”

“Not a lot after we yanked the engine out,” I replied, flicking the reins. As if to confirm my point, ol’ Dobbin pulled us away from the curb with nary a whinny.

Back in the Great Depression they called these Bennett Buggies, after the prime minister of the day. People who couldn’t afford to gas up their automobiles turned them into horse-drawn carts.

Not sure what to call today’s equivalent. A Notley Nissan, perhaps. Or a Rachel Rocket. She might be able to starve us of gas, we told ourselves, but we can still grow our own alfalfa.

Guess we should have seen this coming last February when Alberta’s premier took to lashing out and grape-stomping B.C.’s unsuspecting winemakers, kind of like a hockey player who gets slashed and grabs the first sweater he sees and starts throwing punches.

Alberta was mad because B.C. was blocking its pipeline and choking its economy. B.C. was mad because Ottawa had long made it clear it would ram through a pipeline to the coast whether we wanted it or not.

Indigenous people were mad because they got railroaded, too, and left-leaning white boys were mad in solidarity with the Indigenous people, or at least they were mad in solidarity with the ones who opposed the pipeline. (Left-leaning white boys are all in favour of Indigenous people asserting their rights, just as long as those rights are asserted in a way that meets the approval of left-leaning white boys: no pipelines, no logging, no mining …)

Anyway, that’s when Rachel Notley turned off the taps.

We hoped saner heads would prevail, but in Alberta the only alternative to Notley is Jason Kenney, which would be kind of like swapping the guy in the tinfoil hat for the one with the goalie mask and chainsaw. Pretty sure Kenney keeps a map of Canada with “British Columbia” crossed out and “North Korea” written in. John Horgan seeking sympathy in Alberta is like Trump looking for hugs in Mexico.

British Columbians, on the other hand, were actually divided over the pipeline, which is why in the summer of 2018 the eastern part of the province broke away to form the B.C. Free State, with its capital in Calgary.

That prompted anti-pipeline refugees to stream down to the coast (good thing there was room to house them in all those condos left empty by the anti-Albertan speculation tax).

By then we were all starting to feel over our heads, looking for a way out of this mess. Who would ever have dreamed there would be a day when Canadian politicians would bludgeon ordinary citizens with economic cudgels?

Alas, the divisions just got worse. In the spring of 2019 B.C. cut off Alberta’s supply of weed, crippling their fast-food industry. So Alberta retaliated by restricting exports of beef, and Saskatchewan, siding with Alberta, ended shipments of wheat.

While these moves had little impact (they forgot the West Coast is 98 per cent vegan and gluten-free), Horgan felt compelled to end lumber sales to the Prairies, which forced builders there to revert to the sod huts of their homesteading forefathers.

Then other provinces joined in, imposing economic sanctions on one another to address festering resentments. Ontario, telling Alberta “you may provide the oil but we’re still the engine,” stopped selling pickup trucks pending the repatriation of Connor McDavid. Alberta and B.C. whined about subsidizing other provinces through federal equalization payments, so Ottawa cut off health transfers as punishment for moaning.

Newfoundland, still smarting over the division of offshore oil revenue, declared it would cut off exports of cod — or would, if there were any cod to export. Canada’s middle child, Manitoba, tired of being ignored, launched a general strike but nobody noticed. Quebec threatened to secede, though it then had to admit it couldn’t remember why.

One tiny voice piped up to point out that Canada was still one country, and a darn good one at that — consistently near the top of global quality-of-life rankings — but that voice was drowned out by the sound of us screeching at each other. Or maybe it was the clip-clop of horses pulling our Rachel Rockets.

Jack Knox is a born-and-raised Kamloops lad who once worked at the Kamloops Daily News. He is now a columnist with the Victoria Times Colonist. Since joining the Times Colonist in 1988, Jack has worked as a copy editor, city editor, editorial writer and editorial page editor. Prior to that he was an editor and reporter at newspapers in Campbell River, Regina and Kamloops. He won the Jack Webster Foundation’s City Mike Award for Commentator of the Year in 2015.

© Copyright Times Colonist

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About Mel Rothenburger (5944 Articles)
ArmchairMayor.ca is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At ArmchairMayor.ca he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

2 Comments on KNOX – Looking ahead to B.C. in 2019: driven crazy by Rachel Rockets

  1. Stevan Puharich // April 22, 2018 at 7:08 AM // Reply

    Get some 5 gallon Rachel cans just Incase.

  2. If we have a Civil War, it will be the first time in History that those fighting may have to stop each day and ask the person beside them
    “What is your position on this”?

    And leftist Whites siding with First Nations people if they can see a benefit to agreeing on a particular issue?

    Subtle humor sending a not so humorous message.

    Can’t help but smile or even laugh at the thought of people in BC with Rachel Rockets.
    Sure would cut down on high speed collisions, except possibly those exceeding the speed limit of 25 miles per hour.
    Everyone might have to feed Dobbin a bit mire oats.

    The “ good old days” may not be far off.
    Is there any way to extend this scenario to Ontario and Quebec or to the Airline Industry because I’m sure if Trudeau couldn’t jet set around the World, he would resign.
    Somehow that wouldn’t seem to be a bad result of any silly disagreements about the movement of fuel in and through Cansda.
    And it would be priceless to see Trudeau in a Rachel Rocket!

    Only in B.C., you say? What a pity.

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