Rick Northey, the Wildrose Independence Party president:
The people of Alberta must be free to chart the course of our own destiny. Our culture of self-reliance and free enterprise is being restricted by an eastern power monopoly. Canada is a functioning democracy without proper regional representation. The majority governs in its own self-interest without any check or balance on its power. The great myth of Canada is that we’re a family “in it together,” yet if you differ from the majority there’s no sympathy, no understanding and no option except like it or lump it. It’s time for a third option.
Confederation was and is a monopoly by Ontario and Quebec on every decision in Canada, political or legal. In our system, change can only be initiated by a prime minister ever-sensitive to the voters of these two largest provinces. Trudeaus may be unable to balance budgets, but they can count seats in the House. Power exists for power’s sake, and, to be fair, Conservatives have played the same game.
Individuals and provinces alike are supposed to be protected by our Constitution. It’s unfortunate, then, that it’s so malleable when applied in practice. We see constitutionally entrenched provincial resource rights trumped by simple federal environmental legislation. The Supreme Court has never upheld the articles on interprovincial trade that would protect Albertans’ constitutional rights. Elective change is effectively blocked by the democratic majority, and judicial change is stymied by a refusal to uphold our Constitution’s written word.
Albertans are seeking independence not for the many historical grievances or technical details of equalization and environmental regulation, but because of the philosophy behind those federal laws. Eastern Canadians ask government to solve their problems. While this may work for them, using the federal government to destroy Alberta livelihoods based on this ideology is morally wrong. Denying provincial constitutional authority to bring Alberta to heel is morally wrong.
Alberta must be allowed its belief in private business, limited government and individual rights. Talk of provincial police forces, pension plans and immigration controls all flow out of this philosophy. If you believe these ideas are nothing more than bargaining chips or a spoiled child’s tantrum, then you don’t understand the root cause of the problem. Albertans’ righteous demand for respect and self-determination is not what will destroy Canada—that will come from easterners’ failure to acknowledge our different priorities and opinions.
It’s easy to argue Alberta must seek independence because Confederation is broken, but the truth is much worse. Alberta must seek independence because Confederation is functioning exactly as designed: to centralize power. With eastern Canada holding the overwhelming balance of power, change is impossible. We who seek independence are mocked by those who fear Alberta independence. This is hardly the vision of Canada we so dearly love, but something rather darker.
This is an excerpt of a fuller article that incompasses a debate on this position. To see the full article click Here.