With Canada at risk, Trudeau and Kenney are both getting it wrong - Calgary Herald
"When it comes to the issue of returning Canada to a constitutional order which promotes prosperity, neither the Trudeau federal government nor the Kenney Alberta government are getting it right.
Trudeau refuses to see the truth: his stance on these issues has broken Confederation. His cynical use of regional identity politics and his approach to the courts on constitutional issues has created a national unity crisis. The truth is, Canada, as we know it, is at risk.
Alberta has contributed more to the coffers of the rest of Canada than any other sub-national region has contributed to its national government anywhere in the world. Ever. Through their federal taxes, Albertans contribute over $20 billion more per year to Ottawa than they get back in transfers or services. Canadians ignore the fact that oil and gas production and support is Canada’s second-largest industry in dollar terms and the largest when it comes to paying federal taxes. Albertans and Alberta companies indirectly fund government services in most other provinces.
Governments of all levels across Canada have recently launched unprecedented attacks against Alberta’s industries and livelihoods and Albertans are angry. Most Albertans feel exploited by Canada. They resent being treated like a colony in their own country. Because of this, the risk of Alberta separatism is real.
The treatment of the energy industry and its impact on jobs has changed the psyche of Albertans. At the same time, agriculture, Alberta’s second-largest industry, has been hammered by three very poor years. A people that feel insulted, unvalued and exploited will consider options that just a few years ago were unthinkable.
The risk of Alberta separating may not be immediate — Alberta would not vote to separate today. But there is a real risk of Alberta getting pushed out of Confederation. One or two more setbacks and Alberta separatism will move into “winning conditions” territory.
Kenney is not acknowledging this. He has made it clear that while he understands the frustrations of regular Albertans, he is a Canadian nationalist and will always remain so. Kenney’s usually excellent political radar has failed him, as this line of thinking doesn’t match the feelings of many Albertans. It is also a poor bargaining position. He has surrendered his most important bargaining chip and the elites who run Canada have noticed. ...
Kenney should make it clear to the rest of Canada that even if he is a Canadian nationalist, many Albertans won’t stay in an abusive relationship.
There are currently seven small “c” conservative premiers and the prime minister is in a minority position. There will never be a better time to press to fix Canada than the present."