Project Confederation Calls on Alberta Government to Release Fair Deal Report
During and since last year’s federal election, we have been among a large number of Albertans have been discussing the future of our province.
Alberta is in the middle of an economic crisis – the likes of which we have never seen before – caused by a perfect storm of bad public policy, an overbearing federal government, rail blockades, major project cancellations, low oil prices, and a pandemic.
Alberta’s economy has been struggling for years, hundreds of thousands of Albertans are out of work or underemployed, businesses are closing, and capital is fleeing at an astonishing pace.
Instead of helping Alberta address these challenges, Ottawa has taken the opportunity to aggravate the situation and only made things worse.
This rising tide of frustration led many to question how Alberta could get a “Fair Deal” from Ottawa – if at all.
In response, the Alberta government struck a Fair Deal Panel late last year to investigate and propose solutions to these growing feelings of alienation in Alberta.
Thousands of Albertans have put their hopes in the Fair Deal Panel and their report has been eagerly awaited.
The Panel was originally scheduled to submit their report to the provincial government by March 31st, but after several extensions due to the pandemic, the report was submitted on May 5th.
Unfortunately, in a press release on Saturday, the government announced that “the results of the report and the government’s response will have to wait until the urgency of the COVID-19 response has passed.”
While it is understandable that the government’s response to the report may take a little longer to prepare, there is no reason at all to delay the release of the panel’s report any further.
Albertans should have every opportunity to begin discussing and debating its recommendations.
Alberta has contributed resources, ideas, jobs, and, yes, hundreds of billions of dollars to confederation and all we ask in return is to be allowed to continue doing so.
Yet, Ottawa remains unwilling to listen to Alberta’s plea.
If the government in Ottawa concludes that Alberta is a soft target, we will be subjected to much worse.
It is time for Albertans to boldly stand up for our own future and seek, as much as possible, to be the masters of our own destiny.
The least the provincial government could do is release the Fair Deal Panel report, and allow Albertans to start looking forward to a more prosperous Alberta.