I spent an hour listening to Jason Kenney’s Manning Conference speech. You should too. I know Jason just a little bit, and it’s exactly what I expected. It’s strategic, almost down to the last detail.
For the last number of months I’ve been calling myself a separatist but maybe I should change that and call myself an independentist. (That’s the English version) I’m convinced that separation may still eventually be necessary, and good – separation is our trump card and the rest of Canada needs to understand that we’re holding it – but it’s way too early to play it now.
Consider this. Let’s say the provincial government held a referendum on separation and it won, even by 75%, then what? No seriously, then what?
Most Alberta taxpayers have their paychecks deposited directly to their bank accounts and their taxes are automatically withdrawn and sent to Ottawa. How do you talk a meaningful number of companies into withholding those taxes? And then they would send them where? And what kind of fines would the company risk?
If you’re self-employed and you withhold taxes from the federal government, your bank account will be seized and the taxes withdrawn. You’ll pay a penalty and interest and probably be fined. How would you fight that? Our provincial police force is the RCMP and they’re controlled by Ottawa.
Controlling the collection of taxes in Alberta and having our own provincial police force are critical steps that must be taken before we begin to talk about a Triple E Senate, immigration control, and other steps towards independence. And certainly before a referendum on separation.
Separatist movements must continue growing and coalescing and gaining credibility. The stronger and more credible our separatist movement is, the stronger Alberta’s negotiating position is with the rest of Canada.
But here’s what those separation movements must not do. They must not tolerate anyone who advocates or hints at violence. They must not tolerate anyone who insists on riding their personal hobbyhorse into the movement; issues like gun-control which do ultimately belong within provincial jurisdiction, or truly arcane issues like whether the Bank of Canada is a legitimate institution.
There must initially be a total focus on organizing our own police force. That will take time, plus it will take two years to get out of the contract with the RCMP. And like Québec we must collect our own taxes, and better yet, those that go to the feds. That would give us enormous bargaining power.
Meritha and I are heading to the Essentials of Freedom Conference in Red Deer on Friday and Saturday, November 15 and 16th. There will be many knowledgeable speakers debating the merits of eventual separation vs the merits of simply obtaining a Quebec level of independence from Ottawa. If you are able, you really should go. Here’s the link.
One more comment about Jason Kenney’s speech. I was a bit disappointed when he said: “I am, and always will be a patriotic Canadian.” As a provincial premier who was not elected on a separatist platform, he has to say that “I am” but saying …. “I always will be” could be a promise that he’ll be compelled to break at some point in the future. We’ll have to see.
I’m Dave Reesor
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