I'm posting the below link not because I'm in favour of separation, but I'm opposed to the shit attitude displayed by some with respect to the sentiment of alienation in Western Canada as to it's reality or not. It's real, & someone doesn't have to be a traitor to recognize it as being real.
Alberta’s demand for a “fair deal” in Confederation is not taken as a serious issue outside of that province. Some of that complacency comes from a perspective that despite the large transfers of tax revenues to the rest of the country, Alberta has gained from being part of Canada. Financial Post columnist Kevin Carmichael stated
that, “There are some Albertans who seem to think they would be better off as their own country. Maybe, but only because the province has enjoyed the benefits of being a member of a stable, diversified economy for more than a century
To understand whether Alberta is losing out economically as part of Confederation, or whether Albertans are ingrates who cannot see the importance of Canada for their economic success, as Carmichael suggests, Kent Fellows, a research associate at the University of Calgary’s School of Public Policy, and I investigated two questions: How important is trade with Alberta for the rest of Canada? And how important is trade with the rest of Canada for Alberta?
Beyond the direct impact of energy exports on the national economy, Alberta is important to the economies of other provinces as a market for their goods. Alberta imports from other provinces and territories goods and services for consumption, and intermediate inputs for Alberta’s production of goods and services. To give a few examples:
In 2015, Alberta imported $322 million worth of processed meat products from Ontario and $210 million worth of processed dairy products from Quebec. Alberta also imported $2.2 billion worth of natural gas from British Columbia (the majority of which was likely exported from Alberta along with Alberta-produced gas, mostly to the United States, with smaller but significant volumes going to Ontario).
Using a computational model of the Canadian economy, we investigated the impact of higher trade barriers between Alberta and the other provinces. We simulated the impact of imposing 100 per cent tariffs on interprovincial imports into Alberta and 100 per cent tariffs imposed by other provinces on imports from Alberta. Our modelling assumes that Alberta maintains the Canadian dollar, and that the trade cost increases have no impact on the Canada-U.S. dollar exchange rate.
To see the relative importance of oil and gas exports to other provinces, we also modelled increases in interprovincial export costs applied only to crude oil and natural gas from Alberta to other Canadian provinces. We believe our modelling evaluates the trade impacts of Alberta seceding, or at least having much greater independence, from the rest of Canada.
The rest of Canada clearly benefits from relatively unfettered trade with Alberta. Our model suggests that for the rest of the country, the value of trade attributable to having Alberta as part of the national market is $24 billion, or around 2 per cent of gross domestic product.
The value of trade with Alberta is 20 per cent higher than the value of annual federal fiscal transfers from Alberta to the rest of Canada over the past 20 years (nearly $20 billion per year). Those fiscal transfers from Alberta, in addition to the trade values, come in large part from the higher incomes and tax collections arising from international energy exports.
If Carmichael sees Alberta benefiting from being part of a stable, diversified national economy, then he and other Canadians need to recognize that Canada benefits from Alberta being a prosperous energy exporter. It is time to give up on the fallacy of the “resource curse” that is leading to disastrous federal policies.
Carmichael could be right that Alberta benefits from being part of the Canadian economy, but Alberta pays for that benefit
, unlike Canadians in other provinces. Alberta’s GDP is $20 billion (or six per cent) higher with interprovincial trade than if it were excluded from the national market.
This value is approximately equal to the loss of GDP represented by its federal fiscal transfers to the rest of Canada
. Alberta’s loss in GDP is due to lost exports to other provinces, while the rest of Canada’s GDP loss results from other provinces relying on more expensive goods imported from each other, or from international markets.
The rest of Canada has much more to lose from an independent Alberta than Alberta does
, meaning it might make sense the rest of Canada to consider a fair deal for Alberta to keep Confederation whole. The rest of Canada stands to lose $20 billion in annual fiscal transfers from Alberta and $24 billion from lost interprovincial trade if it were no longer part of the federation.
Alberta, on the other hand, would lose $20 billion in interprovincial trade, but would keep an equal value in net taxes no longer transferred to the federal government
. Should Alberta successfully negotiate a tariff with the rest of Canada that’s less than 100 per cent, then Alberta would see a net gain from independence.
In seeking a “fair deal
” from Confederation, Albertans are testing the foundations of the Canadian federation. Should the federal government choose not to bring more balance between the costs that federal policies, decisions and inaction imposes on Alberta and the rents it extracts from the province through its fiscal arrangements, Alberta separatists could find growing political support in the province. Secession, if it occurs, will result if enough Albertans find being treated like a disrespected cash cow intolerable.