Autonomy and separatism take spotlight at Value of Alberta conference - Calgary Herald
Alberta’s separation from Canada is an option, but wresting more control over its future from Ottawa while remaining in Confederation is a preferred path forward for the province, attendees at a conference in Calgary heard Saturday.
"About 700 people at the event — titled The Value of Alberta and hosted by Alberta Proud, Buffalo Project and Canadians for Democracy and Prosperity — packed a room in the Telus Convention Centre to hear speeches and panels on topics such as the legalities of Wexit, the value of Alberta to Canada and the “raw deal” the province is facing.
The morning presentations centred on the economy, with talks by prominent Alberta economist Jack Mintz and former conservative politicians Joe Oliver and Ted Morton.
“If Alberta wants to change the status quo, we have to stop barking and start biting,” Morton said to media following his presentation. “My take-away is that if Quebec (was) treated how Alberta was treated, they would have separated long ago. If Albertans had the opportunity to renegotiate our position in the Confederation, we would never agree to the status quo.”
He and others drew comparisons between Alberta and Quebec because of the shared separatist sentiment by some residents, and positioned the eastern province as a model for Alberta, considering Quebec has more autonomy on a federal level.
Morton said the “bite” doesn’t mean separating but making steps toward autonomy by implementing some of the ideas being discussed by the province’s“fair deal” panel, such as establishing a formalized provincial constitution, withdrawing from the Canada Pension Plan and forming a provincial police force".