‘Let them feel some of our pain:’ Alberta eatery pulls B.C. wines over pipeline

FORT MCMURRAY — A restaurant in Alberta’s oilsands hub is taking its own stand against the B.C. government’s plan to obstruct an expansion of the Kinder Morgan pipeline.

Asti Trattoria Italiana in Fort McMurray says that, effective immediately, it will no longer serve any wines from British Columbia.

It says it supports Alberta’s oil industry and its oilsands workers.

The restaurant admits that removing eight bottles from its list might not do much, but it hopes other Alberta bars and restaurants will follow suit.

“When we feel economic pain because one of our industries is under attack, I feel that if we reciprocate it, and let them feel some of our pain, that maybe they can lobby their government to stop this lunacy,” restaurant owner Karen Collins said Thursday.

“And that’s what it is. It’s just crazy.”

The pipeline expansion would nearly triple the daily amount of Alberta crude going to the West Coast for shipment to Asian markets.

B.C.’s minority government plans to ban increased shipments off the province’s coast until it can determine that shippers are prepared and able to properly clean up a spill.

Collins said she felt it was important to take a stand against’s B.C.’s action because it will have repercussions in Alberta.

“That means jobs are going to be cut here in Fort McMurray and Alberta. It’s going to affect the province throughout,” she said. “We call ourselves Fort McMurray strong. It’s time for us to also be Alberta strong.”

B.C.’s move has infuriated Alberta Premier Rachel Notley, who called an emergency cabinet meeting Wednesday to consider how to respond.

It’s not the first time Collins has sent a message through her wine list. She said she dropped Ontario wines when TransCanada’s Energy East pipeline went down.

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