If there was one major takeaway from last night's UCP leadership debate, it was that Alberta's place in Confederation remains the most prominent topic of discussion in this race.
And all the candidates seemed to agree: Ottawa needs to stay in its lane.
Most of the candidates made positive statements about a number of issues that we have been promoting at Project Confederation - abolishing equalization, an Alberta pension plan and police force, the importance of Alberta controlling our own natural resources, and more.
The main disagreement, actually, was the best approach to take.
Last week, there was a story in the news that, at first glance, may seem unrelated to Alberta's fight for fairness.
However, when we dug into the details, we realized that it could have major implications for our province and our relationship with Ottawa.
On the last day of May, British Columbia Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, Sheila Malcolmson, and her federal equivalent, Carolyn Bennett, held a joint press conference in Vancouver to announce that the federal government would be giving the British Columbia government an exemption from the enforcement of Canada’s federal drug policy.
On Tuesday, the Alberta Court of Appeal ruled 4-1 that the federal government overstepped its jurisdiction with the Impact Assessment Act - better known as Bill C-69.
The decision is not binding, and the federal government has already announced that they will appeal the decision, meaning that we're headed for another Supreme Court battle between Alberta and Ottawa.
We’ve been here before - the lyrics to Whitesnake’s 1982 hit song, Here I Go Again, come to mind:
Keystone XL? Cancelled.
Energy East? Cancelled.
Northern Gateway? Cancelled.
Teck Resources? Cancelled.
Pretty much anything out east? Approved!
Last month, Canadians were treated to the news that a new government - one they didn’t elect - had been formed, sort of.
Justin Trudeau and Jagmeet Singh reached a “Confidence and Supply Agreement” that would keep the Liberals in power until 2025, with the NDP backing the government on confidence votes and budgets.
While it's not an official coalition, with the NDP receiving no cabinet minister spots, for the purposes of Alberta, it might as well be.
Last week I wrote to you all about how some provinces are more equal than others when it comes to seats in the House of Commons.
You can refer back to last week's email for the full details, but here's a quick summary:
In the most up-to-date Canadian census data, Quebec's population increased, but it increased more slowly than the rest of the country, meaning Quebec now makes up a smaller share of the total Canadian population.
Who cares about a slightly slower rate of increase in population, you might ask?
Well, politicians in Quebec really do, because a province's population is the primary thing that determines how many seats it gets in the House of Commons, and Quebec's drop in share of population means mathematically it will lose a seat in the next Parliament.
It's a concept that has been ignored by many - including our federal government in Ottawa - for far too long.
Russia's invasion of Ukraine has suddenly helped the world realize what's been obvious to many Albertans for a long time - we still need oil and gas!
I get it.
You should be mad.
It's time now, though, to figure out how to channel that anger to create a stronger Alberta.
I hope you had an enjoyable Christmas and New Year, and that you're having a great 2022 so far.
While our team managed to find a little time to rest, Project Confederation didn't slow down too much over the holidays - there's always plenty of work to be done!
In fact, I even had the honour of being featured in a National Post column addressing the frustrations that we all feel regarding our place in confederation.