For far too long, western Canada has been treated unfairly by Ottawa.
The problem isn’t so much any one particular government or political party, but a constitutional structure that incentivizes all governments, of all political stripes, to take advantage of western Canada and our wealth and distribute those resources across the country to help win elections.
The problem is an institutional one, caused by an unfair separation of powers between the federal government and the provinces.
Equalization, Employment Insurance, Health and Social Transfer Programs, and many other federal policies have combined over the years to take hundreds of billions of dollars of wealth out of western Canada.
Meanwhile, other federal policies work to block the development of the very industries that produce that wealth, whether that be oil and gas, forestry, agriculture, and more.
A disproportionate share of these fiscal transfers end up in Quebec, where their provincial government uses the money to provide more and cheaper services to their residents than are available to those of us in the west who are paying the bill.
This cannot continue.
We believe that in order for long-lasting structural changes to be made, we need not just a political effort but a grassroots movement that works to change the entire political discourse of this country.
If we can speak directly to Canadians, spark debate on these important constitutional issues, and ultimately change the kinds of policies that voters are demanding, then political parties will be forced to follow.
This is a problem that can be solved.
Reforming the Canadian constitution is not a discussion that should be taken lightly, but it is not good enough to just complain anymore.
The current system of confederation is not set in stone, it is a system that is designed to be changed when necessary, and clearly, this is now necessary.
It’s time for a new movement to take action to achieve a better deal for the west within the Confederation of Canada.
Project Confederation's mission is to do just that.