On Canada Day, Paula Simons wrote an article in the Edmonton Journal entitled: “My Canada includes Alberta.” Heartwarming, if it were true.
But Alberta’s hurting, and it’s clear that some of our fellow provinces, and, most egregiously, the Canadian government, are deliberately adding to the pain.
Ms. Simons trots out the usual arguments. “We are a landlocked province, with an economy largely reliant on international trade. Do we really imagine that it will be easier for us to get our oil, our wheat, our beef, our canola, our lentils, to market if we’re cut off from any coast?”
Does she mean more cut off than we are now? Does she actually believe that BC will block the railways which carry hundreds of thousands of containers from BC ports to distribution centres from Alberta to Newfoundland, or that Québec and Ontario will stop trains from moving west? Or that activists will block pipelines more successfully than they do now? Seems to me that a blocked pipeline is a blocked pipeline.
Simons frets about investor confidence in a new country, so let’s look at Singapore which became an independent country in 1965. They began with massive unemployment, a lack of housing, no natural resources, and almost no land – Singapore covers 722 km²; Calgary 825 km². Together, Alberta and Saskatchewan have 1,300,000 km², and massive natural resources that the world needs.
Within 35 years of independence Singapore was one of the richest countries in the world. It’s a world class banking and tech centre, and even, get this, the central hub for the Asian oil industry. Singapore’s population is 5.6 million; Alberta and Saskatchewan’s combined is 5.4 million, and there’s almost unlimited room to grow.
Simons points out that Alberta is home to 45 First Nations, which control 140 separate reserves. She asks: “Do separatists imagine that all those First Nations will also want to leave Canada?”
It wouldn’t surprise me. When Canada’s indigenous people were asked in a recent poll if they felt respected by the federal government, and felt like a valued part of Canada, a whopping 66% said NO. (I’d be extremely interested in feedback from Indigenous Albertans on this.) In the same poll, only 20% of indigenous people think Justin Trudeau should be re-elected this fall.
It certainly seems that Albertans, including the vast majority of indigenous people are on exactly the same page. Albertans of all backgrounds are tired of being taken advantage of, or stymied by, our nanny-state. Alberta’s indigenous communities are chockablock with entrepreneurs that are ready to go, if only the nanny-state would get out of the way. Imagine getting rid of the stifling bureaucracy, until recently called; “Indian Affairs”.
Simons enthuses: “For all its flaws, and for all its systemic injustices, this is a truly extraordinary country, a nation-state built, not on ideology or ethno-nationalism, but on ideals of tolerance, inclusion and rational compromise.” Nation State? But Justin Trudeau has already told the world that Canada is “post national”.
National, or post-national, whether it’s Justin Trudeau and his government, or the law societies of British Columbia and Ontario, in today’s Canada, tolerance, inclusion, and compromise apply only if you affirm the latest Progressivist ideology. Otherwise you are excluded from federal programs, you are not allowed to open a law school, and you can end up in jail if you don’t mouth the approved pronouns.
Simons asserts that: “Canada is a remarkable experiment”, but then admits: “It doesn’t always succeed.” Indeed, it succeeds less and less. In a country where the Constitution is regarded as, “A Living Tree”, onto which Left-Wing activists can graft whichever Progressivist ideology happens to be trending at the moment, conservatism and common sense and the freedoms gained over 800 years are being forced to the periphery. And Canada’s constitution and amending formula guarantee that there is no way to get them back.
For her emotive clincher, Ms. Simons notes that the Latin motto on Canada’s coat of arms means “They desire a better country.”
Me too. Indeed I dream of a Best Country, but it’s clear that’s no longer possible in Canada. And that’s why I’m a separatist.
I’m Dave Reesor
Next Blog: A History of Disrespect.