Alberta and Saskatchewan are talking about leaving confederation because they do not agree with social governments, preferring instead austerity for the people and handouts for the corporations which are destroying our earth. Ok, that is their choice as it was the choice of Canadians outside those two provinces to reject that notion. They seem to feel a sense of alienation when could it be that what they are mad about is that Canadians as a whole don’t think like them; that is to say Alberta and Saskatchewan are the breadbaskets and lubrication provinces that hold the country together financially and should be bowed down to and given everything they desire. Really? Would that have happened under a Scheer government? Yeah, right! His American side would be clearly in lockstep with Trumpian non-values.
What on the face of it seems like a spoiled brat or two crying and stamping their feet in order to get mommy’s attention actually shows how little Alberta and Saskatchewan have really thought this through. Alberta is mad because that province has squandered what it had that was created by Peter Lougheed many years ago which was a model for Norway’s fantastic financial situation; and now after years of terrible conservative manipulation in that province, they are in essence broke and landlocked. Instead of reaping the rewards of careful husbandry of their main resource they are now “sans” the Heritage Fund advantage and stuck with a one market product they call oil, which is in fact bitumen. As long as they call it oil their heads are stuck in the sand from which the bitumen is taken. One market you ask? Well yes according to the FTA and then NAFTA we can increase our percentage of production of any petroleum export to the USA to 100% but we cannot reduce it at all. Article 605 of NAFTA.
We hear from media and politicians that there are new markets waiting for the bitumen but never are they described. Notley, Kenney, Freeland, Trudeau, Carr to mention just a few have not been able to give me the name of even one refinery in any new destination country that is wanting this Alberta goop. So naturally, the question arises: why the TMX expansion if not just another way to ship to the USA? Meanwhile, Jay Inslee, the Governor of Washington State, is as concerned about the possibility of an accident in Georgie or Juan da Fuca straights and the resulting toxic gases release into the local winds as are we on southern Vancouver Island.
Incidentally in this as yet un-ratified USMCA investment deal there is a segment ( Article 32.10) on other investment (trade deals) entered into by one country without including the other two will make USMCA null and void. How does the US talking a new trade deal with China fit with this? Yet our weak-kneed corporate government will ratify it anyway.
Is the assumption that BC will automatically leave Canada with an arch-enemy? After all, we are under legislated threat of having Alberta cut us off from oil and gas supply. They want to destroy our interior with clumps of bitumen and toxic gases when the TMX pipe ruptures and of course the Stampeders always beat up on the Lions, so are we really expected to roll over and join them in their foolishness. BC, on the other hand, could leave Canada and be completely self-sustaining. Actually, though, the problem is more complex when you consider the First Nations treaties with Canada, and BC having signed on to the UNDRIP makes it even more complicated. For some reason, Alberta and Canada have not so signed, presumably because such a signature would hamper the ability to trample on First Nations’ rights.
But what would leaving Canada actually achieve? Both provinces would still be landlocked, and while they could still export grain, wheat, beef, pork etc., it would be through foreign ports, probably charging more with maybe even import/export duties charged, and what would happen to the people of those two provinces about the OAS and CPP, not to mention healthcare? The rest of Canada being the generous people they are would graciously honour the current recipients, but for the rest of you? The youth of both provinces would not be happy about that now would they?
So back to the discontent within Alberta and Saskatchewan. Granny used to say “put all your eggs in one basket and if you fall you most likely will not have any eggs”. Well you two, it seems you have fallen and now have not one representative in the federal government between you. IF this country was a democracy that would not really matter much as your representatives (MPs) would have a voice, but much to the chagrin of many, many Canadians we are not a democracy and there is virtually no representation on behalf of the people in our House of Commons anyway.
The Alberta in which I lived and worked for many years was a relatively happy, friendly and welcoming place. Now after years of conservative rule both provincially and federally the whole picture has changed to where redneck, bigoted, anti-immigration, and yellow-vested supremacists are well represented by the likes of Kenney whose intended austerity measures (anticipated by me anyway) were held back in a budget not delivered until after the federal election. Anyone really surprised by that?
What Canada sorely lacks is love and compassion for each other no matter who or what. Yes, there are some who have an abundance of both but ……