We Pushed Back, They Backtracked
After a brief flirtation with nationalizing the West's natural resources, I'm pleased to let you know that the Liberals have now backtracked.
"As prime minister, I'm happy to stand here right now and say we will not be touching the Natural Resources Transfer Agreements," the Prime Minister told a news conference yesterday afternoon.
"Natural resources are constitutionally directed to be the purview of the provinces, and we're not putting that into question," he followed up.
We completely agree, but we certainly won't be handing out any gold stars for ruling the idea out, given it should never have been floated in the first place!
In case you missed the debate earlier in the week, here's a quick recap:
The federal Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, David Lametti, responding to a question at a public event, committed to looking at the idea of rescinding the Natural Resource Transfer Agreements.
Those Agreements gave the Western provinces control over their natural resources, but only after a hard fight by the West to be treated equally to all the other provinces, who already had those same rights to their natural resources.
The agreements now form a core part of the Canadian constitution, guaranteeing that the provinces control their resources.
We highlighted this as a particular threat to Western Canada, through our social media, website, and emails and started building momentum against this crazy idea.
Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba Premiers Danielle Smith, Scott Moe, and Heather Stefanson also issued a joint statement opposing the comments.
They called out the government on this blatant attempt to violate the Constitution and called upon them to immediately retract their "dangerous and divisive" comments.
Lametti then tried to provide "clarification" that he wasn't committing to doing it, only committing to look at it.
We pointed out that we never said he committed to doing it, he committed to looking at it, and that his "clarification" is actually an admission that we were right that he was looking at it.
Lametti then put out another "clarification" that said pretty much the same as his first "clarification" - once again confirming that we were right that he had committed to looking at it.
Whether the whole ordeal was a slip of the tongue, or this was actually a way for Ottawa to test the waters on the idea, we can't say for sure.
But, we'd like to think that when the federal Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada is asked whether he would be willing to blatantly breach the Constitution of Canada, it would be pretty easy for him to just say no, right?
Well now, thanks to vigilance on the part of Project Confederation and you - our supporters - it's finally a simple no, from the Prime Minister.
It might be tempting to just move on and look past this, but we shouldn't.
Especially given the history of Ottawa's attacks on our natural resources.
The whole incident shows just how important and influential groups like ours can be - working to bring attention to all the things Ottawa gets up to.
When we pushed back, they backtracked.
If you want to help make sure we can continue to keep an eye on Ottawa and keep pushing back, please consider making a donation to fund our research, advocacy, communications, events, and activism:
We need every Canadian to understand what is at stake with a federal government that wants to violate the Constitution at every turn.