We Did It!
On Monday, Albertans voted on the referendum question that we have been pushing for since Project Confederation was founded:
Should Section 36(2) of the Constitution Act, 1982 – Parliament and the government of Canada’s commitment to the principle of making equalization payments – be removed from the Constitution?
While the results won’t be officially declared until next Tuesday, most media outlets are projecting that the “yes” vote has won this referendum.
This is a huge victory, not just for us, but for all of you, and all of Alberta.
None of this would have been possible without you - our supporters.
Our opponents on the left pulled out all the stops to discredit us, confuse you and muddy the waters.
But you didn’t listen to them, you voted yes, and together we just took the first major step in the fight for a fair deal for Alberta.
Together, we sent a message to Ottawa that enough is enough.
We aren’t finished yet though.
The referendum was just the first point of nine that we included when we wrote our "A New Alberta Agenda" back in 2019.
The other eight steps are:
- Seek and gain clarification on Section 92 and Section 121 of Canada's Constitution Act, 1867 to make clear that Canadians have a right to unrestricted free trade across provincial borders for goods, services, and infrastructure such as pipelines.
- Reform the Senate of Canada to be a Triple-E senate - equal, elected, and effective. The provincial government just restored senatorial elections - now is the time to drive the issue further.
- Collect our own revenue from personal income tax, as we already do for corporate income tax. Any incremental cost of collecting our own personal income tax would be far outweighed by the policy flexibility that Alberta would gain, as Quebec's experience has shown.
- Withdraw from the Canada Pension Plan to create an Alberta Pension Plan offering the same benefits at a lower cost while giving Alberta control, as Quebec has done from the beginning. If Quebec can do it, why not Alberta?
- Withdraw from the Canadian Employment Insurance program to create an Alberta Employment Insurance program offering the same benefits at a lower cost while giving Alberta control.
- Allow the contract with the RCMP to run out in 2032 (or negotiate an earlier exit if possible) and create (or convert the Alberta Sheriff's branch into) an Alberta Provincial Police Force. Alberta can, like Ontario and Quebec, operate its own provincial police force and can do so more efficiently and more effectively than Ottawa ever could.
- Establish an independent Alberta immigration system to replace the federal government's existing system, as exists in Quebec. This would allow Alberta to implement a privately-sponsored immigration system that has been repeatedly proven to be more effective and can more easily be tailored to Alberta's labour-force needs.
- Resume provincial responsibility for healthcare, social policy, and infrastructure paid for by replacing the Canada Health Transfer, Canada Social Transfer, and various Infrastructure Transfers with a transfer of tax points, as Quebec has argued for many years.
We've made some good progress on some of these other issues over the last two years.
But much more needs to be done, and Alberta must fight on multiple fronts to secure its future.
We look forward to fighting with you on all those fronts in the coming months.