The Election That Could Define The West
The Alberta election is finally upon us.
Albertans will go to the polls on May 29th in an election that will undoubtedly cause reverberations in Alberta and across Canada.
For the past four years, the prairies have been united by a common cause - to defend our interests in the face of a federal government driven by ever-increasing centralized control.
We have seen Ottawa reach into provincial jurisdiction over and over again, causing economic harm to our industries and weakening our position in a global marketplace that desperately needs our resources.
The future, not just of Alberta but also of Confederation itself, is very much at stake.
Will Alberta continue to stand up for the jurisdictional division of powers envisaged in the Canadian Constitution and push back when Ottawa tries to usurp them, or will Alberta decide not just to stop fighting back but instead actively help a federal government that wants to legislate our primary industry out of existence?
To answer that question, we should recap how we got here.
In 2015, Alberta elected a surprise NDP government that saw Rachel Notley become Premier.
Later that same year, the Liberal Party won the federal election, and Justin Trudeau became Prime Minister.
It didn't take long for the federal government to start their assault on Western Canada's industries.
Ottawa instituted a carbon tax.
Ottawa banned oil tankers from the waters off the northern coast of British Columbia.
Ottawa killed Northern Gateway and Energy East, two major pipeline projects designed to ease the export constraints of our energy products.
Ottawa passed the “Impact Assessment Act,” designed to kill any other job-creating pipelines or major projects dreamt up by ambitious innovators within the energy industry.
Pipeline after pipeline and project after project fell to the sword of anti-energy federal government policies.
And much of this was done not only with the consent, but sometimes the active support, of the Alberta government.
Heck, in the case of the carbon tax, the Alberta government pre-empted the federal government by introducing a provincial carbon tax before the federal government even got around to implementing their own.
Four years later, in 2019, the federal Liberals remained in charge in Ottawa, but things were very different in Alberta.
Albertans elected a government that, under Premier Jason Kenney, entered the legislature with a strong mandate from the people to stand up for Alberta against the damage that Ottawa was doing.
Suddenly, things started to change.
The Fair Deal Panel recommended a series of ways the province could fight back against the federal government.
A referendum to remove equalization from the constitution was held in October 2021.
The Alberta government took several key pieces of federal legislation to court and ultimately all the way to the Supreme Court.
A provincial Chief Firearms Officer was appointed to take back control of regulation from the federal government.
And, of course, after the election of Premier Smith, the Alberta Sovereignty Act was passed.
Saskatchewan also pushed back in many of the same ways too, including with a Saskatchewan First Act.
Now, another four years later, in 2023, Ottawa still thinks they should get to tell Alberta what to do.
But, they also know that they won't automatically get away with it; they know that Alberta - and other provinces - will push back.
Ottawa has continued to target Western Canada, but there can be no doubt that the tide has started turning.
When federal Ministers went to COP 27 in Egypt to discuss climate policy, they refused to commit to a phaseout of oil and gas - not because they didn't want to, but because they couldn't interfere in provincial jurisdiction.
The federal government's "Just Transition" plan is now on hold - at least until after the Alberta election.
The feds even backed off on many of their recent firearms regulation plans.
Don't get us wrong; there are still a lot of problems coming out of Ottawa all the time.
But what a difference it makes when the Alberta government stands up for Western Canada instead of rolling out the red carpet for the Trudeau government.
So, Alberta finds itself at a crossroads.
The upcoming election will be a test of the continued willingness of Albertans to defend themselves against attacks on their livelihoods.
Project Confederation is not a political party, so we aren’t courting your votes.
We are a think tank focused on the future of Western Canada - working to secure the continued growth of our region and provide sound policy suggestions that can improve the standing of the West in Confederation - permanently.
We need true reforms to Confederation in order to secure our place as a foundational part of the country - the way the Constitution intended.
And we need to cut through the noise and make sound public policy the foundation of the debate this election campaign.
This is the election that could define the West for generations to come, and we need your help to define this election.
We must keep pushing our message, widen our audience, and deliver logical, researched information to as many Albertans as possible.
If you want to help us spread the word far and wide over the coming weeks, please consider making a donation here:
We are always so humbled by the support we receive from grassroots people such as yourself, and we have made incredible strides toward our goal together.
P.S. We still have a lot of work to do, and donations are what make our work possible. So, we would greatly appreciate it if you could help us out with $10, $20, $50, $100 or more. Let’s make policy the focus of this campaign.