Ontario premier looking into online game showing bombing of pipeline

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TORONTO - Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne says she'll be looking into an online game promoted by a taxpayer-funded broadcaster that shows the bombing of a gas pipeline.

A blog post supporting the game appeared on the website of the provincially funded broadcaster TV Ontario.

The TVO website also provides a link to the game, called "Pipe Trouble," and offers a free trial.

But questions have been raised about the game's introductory video, which appears to show activists protesting before a pipeline blows up.

The TVO blog describes Pipe Trouble as a "companion ethical game" to a documentary that deals with local opposition to pipelines and the bombing of pipelines in Peace River, B.C.

TVO says the game uses "over-the-top satire to cleverly explore the two sides of the energy extraction debate."

Players build their own pipeline while "balancing the needs of a gas company rep on a tight budget and a volatile farmer who has the environment and community at heart," according to the blog post, written by Angela Garde of TVO.

Wynne said Thursday she doesn't know anything about the game or TVO's involvement and would like more information before commenting on it. But she said she'll ask Education Minister Liz Sandals to get more information from TVO.

"I know nothing about that," Wynne said.

"It sounds somewhat disturbing to me on the face of it. So I'm going to ask the Minister of Education to have that conversation about TVO because I think there does need to be a question asked about that."

Players can buy the game for $1.99, with a portion of the proceeds going to the David Suzuki Foundation.

Progressive Conservative Vic Fedeli said it's not appropriate for the taxpayer-funded broadcaster to be promoting a game that makes money for another organization.

Video arcade machines that allow people to play the game will be moving throughout Toronto this month, Garde said in her blog.

Organizations: TV Ontario, David Suzuki Foundation

Geographic location: Ontario, TORONTO, Peace River

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