Big Oil, bad taste

Pipeline graphic breaks hearts on Valentine’s Day

Alberta NDP’s Feb. 14 message sparks online backlash
Photo: PROSan José Library

“I thought it had to be the Yes Men,” a friend said to me Tuesday evening, shaking his head about the pro-pipeline Valentine’s Day message from the Alberta New Democratic Party. But this was no spoof, and many across Canada reacted in dismay at the governing party’s Feb. 14th message.

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It’s easy to see why some thought that the NDP’s announcement that they were “building a pipeline . . . to your heart” might have been a bad joke. After all, the idea of a tar sands pipeline as a pulmonary vein delivering bitumen straight in your heart doesn’t exactly lend itself to the creation of healthy mental images.

Reaction to the Valentine’s Day graphic came swiftly, with the Bloc Québécois delivering a nationalist, anti-pipeline riposte on Facebook: “We love Quebec. They love bitumen. To each their own Valentine.”

The Alberta NDP’s message was criticized by many others on Twitter, including climate campaigners and party supporters from across the country.

Surely even pipeline proponents found the image off-putting? Or perhaps for some there is no such thing as bad taste when it comes to hippie punching. Whatever the case, Valentine’s Day 2017 reaffirms the impression the Alberta NDP has gone all in on pipelines, breaking hearts on the left in hopes of appeasing the right.

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