Stephen Harper, and the Case for Alberta Independence - Alberta Freedom Alliance
Liberal leader Jean Chrétien said, “I like to do politics with people from the East. Joe Clark and Stockwell Day are from Alberta. They are a different type. I’m joking. I’m serious.” (Alberta Freedom Alliance)
"Chrétien’s comment clearly indicated that he believed Albertans were notably different from eastern Canadians, and not in a good way. As the prime minister of Canada, he was making a sharp distinction between different kinds of Canadians, and he viewed Albertans as somewhat inferior to easterners.
The results of the 2000 election were very disappointing to most westerners because so many of us had voted for the Canadian Alliance. The Canadian Alliance elected 66 MPs but only 2 were from ridings east of Manitoba.
In the aftermath of that election, Stephen Harper made the following perceptive observation:
“Alberta and much of the rest of Canada have embarked on divergent and potentially hostile paths to defining their country. Alberta has opted for the best of Canada’s heritage—a combination of American enterprise and individualism with the British traditions of order and co-operation. We have created an open, dynamic, and prosperous society in spite of a continuously hostile federal government. Canada appears content to become a second-tier socialistic country, boasting ever more loudly about its economy and social services to mask its second-rate status, led by a second-world strongman appropriately suited for the task.”
Clearly, he saw Alberta and Canada as traveling along separate trajectories. They were going in opposite directions.
In light of these divergent paths, Harper made the following suggestion:
“Westerners, but especially Albertans, founded the Reform/Alliance to get ‘in’ to Canada. The rest of the country has responded by telling us in no uncertain terms that we do not share their ‘Canadian values.’ Fine. Let us build a society on Alberta values.”