The fulcrum of power in this country has typically resided somewhere in the vicinity of the Manitoba/Ontario border for as long as I can remember. With 121 Federal seats out of a total 338 in Ontario alone, and another 78 seats in Quebec, itís easy to understand how most of the political power is held by these two provinces. With a grand total of 104 seats from Manitoba to BC itís also easy to understand the anger and frustration coming from the West toward a Government which appears to have absolutely no interest in nurturing a healthy relationship with provinces West of this fulcrum.
The latest stunt by our arrogant leader is just another in a long list of examples of the outright seething contempt he has for Western Canada. One day after Alberta and Saskatchewan expressed an interest in discussing changes to the equalization plan and with full knowledge that the formula is in need of review, Trudeau pulled a fast one on the West and passed the budget implementation bill with an awkwardly worded clause on page 319 of the 369-page document indicating the current equalization formula would be extended for five years until 2024. No consultation. No explanation. Just a hollow promise from Morneau to consult on the next renewal, in five years, if heís still in office and the Liberals still in power.
The level of insolence and antipathy of this move would be shockingÖif it were out of character. But it's not. For Federal Liberals itís just another dayÖanother slap in the face in a long history of bold middle-fingers aimed squarely at the West.
But things are changing, and Trudeau better pay attention. This isnít his daddyís Canada, and people are wise to the bulllshit. Whether itís something as trivial as ďforgettingĒ the province of Alberta during a Canada Day speech, or something much more economically destructive as failing to support construction of a pipeline project to the point of collapse, then having to buy the project with tax money to save his image, people see example after example, this Governmentís inability or unwillingnessÖor bothÖto bring the country together. Declaring ďthe country is better off when Quebecers are in chargeĒ plays well in Quebec, but itís not constructiveÖitís the opposite.
Using animosity, antagonism, and anger between provinces and their people to hold onto power may work in the short-term, but at what expense to the country? Or are we just living in a post national state? Pulling a country apart in order to maintain power seems counter-productive, itís impossible to imagine a scenario in which this classic Trudeau strategy could possibly end well for this country.