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A New Vision
A New Deal
"In the past year, I have heard more expressions of support for Western or Alberta separatism than I've heard in my whole life. It's a reflection of deep frustration from people who think: We helped the federation pay the bills, we've played by the rules, we haven't really complained about it, and yet we're getting royally screwed here. The hypocrisy in this country is driving a level of alienation here I haven't seen in my whole life. People are angry, and they should be."
"Western alienation, fuelled by the downturn in the energy sector and political resistance to the free movement of petroleum across provincial boundaries to tidewater and world markets, is reviving western separatism. That's going to be a challenge for the next Parliament, no matter who ends up winning the election. Recognize the validity of the concerns. Don't dismiss them. Don't tell people you've got no right to be angry or mad."
"If further economic dislocation is caused because of objectively unfair and harmful legislation from a distant and out-of-touch federal government, compounded by the continued intractability of a dysfunctional pipeline approval problem and with Westerners still on the paying side of the equalization formula, the talk out West might turn in earnest away from trying to improve on the status quo to “and now for something completely different."
"Most westerners don't want to separate from Canada, we want to separate from a federal government that seems indifferent to the West's contribution to Confederation. We carry our fair share of the load. We'd like to be treated as an equal partner in Confederation, not punished by our partners for developing our natural resources. What happens next? Western anger needs to go somewhere. Either it goes into a new vision for Confederation that shows respect for western aspirations or into some firebrand's vision for a divided Canada."