A recent opinion piece in the Calgary Herald newspaper is urging Albertans to forsake travelling to “holier-than-thou” British Columbia in favour of “charismatic and enchanting” Newfoundland and Labrador.
“Many self-righteous B.C. green devotees see Albertans as rapacious oil industry intruders out to destroy their pristine and innocent province,” columnist Will Verboven wrote, referring to the ongoing political spat between the two provinces’ NDP governments over the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.
In the March 2 piece, Verboven even accused the B.C. government of being “duplicitous” and stoking “anti-Alberta attitudes” while “Alberta contributes hundreds of millions of dollars to the B.C. economy.”
“(I)n turn they bite the hand that feeds them,” Verboven continued. “There’s a world of difference between the delightful folks of Newfoundland and many of the reactionary denizens of B.C. who at times have a palatable disdain, if not prejudice, against people from Alberta. “
2016 data from Crown corporation Destination British Columbia, moreover, shows that Alberta residents accounted for $1.39 billion of roughly $11 billion in overnight tourism dollars, just behind U.S. visitors who spent $2.1 billion. Albertans, however, don’t seem willing to stop visiting their western neighbours just yet.
“They like B.C.’s weather, they like the ocean, they like the fruit,” CTV Calgary’s Brenna Rose said after a day spent interviewing Albertans about the proposed travel boycott. “They’re not about to stop going to British Columbia for any reason.”
Across the Continental Divide in B.C., CTV Vancouver’s St. John Alexander said people in his province are “surprisingly supportive of Alberta.”
“A lot of them admit that they need the pipeline,” Alexander added after interviewing people on Vancouver’s streets.
So, although columnist Verboven accused B.C. of “environmental hypocrisy,” the provinces’ citizens don’t appear to be taking their premiers’ feuding to heart.
“What’s unfortunate here is that the result of that’s been taken personally and I don't think that it's necessary,” B.C. Green Party MLA Adam Olsen told CTV Vancouver.