Accept for a moment the Toronto media narrative, spun through the Laurentian echo chamber in Ottawa, that “RedNexit” is the latest protest from the hicks living “out” West, unhappy with the outcome of the federal election.
Some of the impetus for Western political separatism comes from a legitimate sense of alienation, wrapped in a visceral dislike for a prime minister who cavalierly disregards the Prairie resource economy, agriculture and extractive industries.
At the same time, Justin Trudeau makes it clear that he has no respect for the people whose hard work and taxes fund an equalization formula in need of change and even the national government’s Canada Pension Plan (CPP), which Quebec opted out of 50 years ago, that disproportionately taxes more youthful Prairie employees and their employers.
Ditto for an inefficient and costly carbon tax that harms families and businesses in Saskatchewan and Alberta more profoundly than others. Compounding Prairie alienation are Bills C-69 and C-48, passed into law, which deliberately create high completion risk, uncertainty and delay, and a disincentive for anyone to invest in energy projects.
And there is the Trudeau government’s wilful strategy, illustrated by pipeline cancellations and delays, to sacrifice oil and energy development on the altar of climate politics and the “new green” economy.
To be sure, some of the separatists — but far from all — are the same cranks who jump on the first floats in a grievance parade, or spend their time shadow boxing the globalists of the New World Order or hooking up with Max Bernier’s People’s Party of Canada.
But it would be a fatal mistake for Canada to dismiss a real and profound sense of alienation which goes deeper into the ranks of thoughtful policy-makers, premiers past and present, and community leaders — not yet separatists — who are simply fed up with a Canada that no longer works for us.
An Ipsos poll this week can be read as alienation and separatism being rungs on the same ladder. The statement “Canada is more divided than ever” finds agreement among 79 per cent of Albertans and 77 per cent of Saskatchewanians. On the view that it is better for our provinces to politically split away from Canada, 27 per cent of Saskatchewan people agree, as do 33 per cent in Alberta.
While some promote separatism, others of us who prefer Canada see an opportunity for a strong, purposeful and resilient Prairie pushback against policies from Ottawa that must change.
Some Western organization — perhaps the Buffalo Project, Canada West Foundation or other — should be prepared to convene a conference in the next 100 days to openly examine issues and canvas options available to Saskatchewan and Alberta.
In no particular order, review the equalization formula and re-examine some of the 2001 Alberta Agenda, or so-called “firewall” options, including opting out of CPP and establishing provincial pension plans; taking control from the federal government of all tax collection and immigration; resuming full provincial responsibility for health care policy; cancelling RCMP contract policing and creating a provincial police force — all of which have been done for decades by Quebec.
Also, a conference could invite political and legal academics, constitutional scholars and experts in international law to canvas other issues, including but not limited to: Canada’s Clarity Act; the constitutional issues underlying a unique or distinct relationship with the Prairie West within the federation; the domestic and international legal requirements for limited or full political independence should the relationship with Canada deteriorate; the scope of important consultations required to address or renegotiate pre-existing treaties and inherent treaty rights with Indigenous people; and post-secession access to markets and trade.
In addressing Prairie alienation, Trudeau knows what he has to do — or, more properly, stop doing. If he does not meaningfully address Western concerns it shouldn’t be said that all those unhappy people “out” West are going to any longer sit idle or silent. We aren’t.
CP and CN make billions transporting this coal . Come on they are owned and operated out of Montreal and Toronto . The war isn’t about them .The port of vancouver is the largest coal exporteing port in NorAm.
Do you think that they will pay for the damage that they export?
Make Nunavut pay for all the global warming costs.
Nunavut isnt getting enough welfare payments as it is!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Nunavutians claim that lack of welfare money is WHY so many people up that way are suicidal!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
And do you have ANY IDEA what the air freight on a case of beer is??????????????????
The cost to get DRUNK IN NUNAVUT IS literally SKY HIGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Besides - much of the available money that is not spent on alcohol and drugs......................................
is earmarked to REBUILD SCHOOLS.........................
that the young Nunavut delinquents - meaning future CONVICTS.............................
who will be be disqualified for jury duty as a result of their criminal behaviour.................................
enjoy BURNING DOWN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!