Albertans are getting a raw deal within Confederation. The federal government routinely interferes in areas of provincial jurisdiction and uses federal powers to prevent the development and trade of our products. For at least three generations the federal government has taken more in taxes than it gives in transfers and services, while refusing to give Western Canadians equitable representation within Parliament. If Alberta were not a member of Canadian Confederation today, it would be difficult to provide a compelling argument to join.
Phrases like “the west wants in”, the Firewall Letter, the Alberta Agenda, Fair Deal for Alberta, and others have been all too common in Alberta’s history. If we look back to the firewall letter in 2001, why we are in the situation we are now becomes very clear. Twenty one years later, the problems are the same and not one of the proposed solutions has been implemented.
So basically, we’ve done NOTHING and people are suggesting we are out of options.
So, what’s the answer?
And here’s a list to act on:
- Say NO to Ottawa. No is the most powerful word in the English language. It has never been used by Quebec regularly and more recently by Saskatchewan. We need to use it more. The Sovereignty Act would officially allow Alberta to say no, but My plan is to begin saying NO now. Not waiting for one of the candidates to possibly win the leadership race, then go through a by-election to be able to sit in the legislature, then go through the process of drafting a bill and passing it in the legislature. That takes months and meanwhile Ottawa will just keep steam rolling us. When Trudeau brought in the Emergency Act, the Premier of Quebec said he was very clear with the prime minister that the Emergency Act must not apply in Quebec. Hmmm? I don’t remember the country falling apart like the political elite are predicting now.
Do SOMETHING. And by something, here’s a list:
- We need to start our own pension plan immediately. That will save Albertans $3-4 billion a year.
- We will develop our own constitution that will include property rights and help create a firewall between Alberta and Ottawa.
- We will also, pursue our own employment insurance system
- We need to collect our own provincial taxes
- Begin setting up our own provincial police force.
These are all things that can be done without a fight with Ottawa or a constitutional crisis because Quebec already has them. Once we have what Quebec has, I want more! More Alberta and less Ottawa.
- Formal talks needed: When it comes to Alberta’s place in Confederation, the status quo is not acceptable to most Albertans. The next Premier of Alberta needs to have the tools and courage to force Ottawa to the negotiating table for formal talks with a firm timeline in place. As such, the government must be prepared to enact the both the Alberta Sovereignty Act, as well as other measures identified by the Legislature’s Fair Deal Panel. We must make it clear to Albertans and Canadians alike that the time for vague letters and empty threats has passed.
Here's a couple points to consider:
- Ottawa called Kenney’s bluff: The Kenney government achieved little to nothing in the last three years when it comes to resolving key Fair Deal issues. We had a referendum vote which Albertans passed-no action. We had a fair deal panel take input from across Alberta- no action. Even though he was given a mandate by Albertans to fight for a Fair Deal, Kenney and his cabinet refused to provide Ottawa with any compelling reason to negotiate. Justin Trudeau called Kenney’s bluff.
- Change the federalism/separation debate: Like other hot button public policy issues, measures to strengthen Alberta’s position in confederation are too often overtaken by the most extreme elements on both sides of the debate. Politicians pushing federalism-at-all-costs have not provided any meaningful results. Meanwhile, those pushing for immediate separation have failed to provide a credible road map and the public support to achieve their objective.
I don’t want to see any of the status quo candidates chosen as leader, knowing full well that nothing will change. Same old talking and writing strongly worded letters, same old broken promises, and same old Kenney politics.
It’s time for a new approach.
That approach is this:
- I stood up to Jason Kenney so you can trust that I will stand up to Justin Trudeau, and anyone who gets in the way of Alberta’s interests.
- My plan is a plan of action. Things that are attainable and can start immediately. That’s why my plan is the strongest plan of any of the candidates in this leadership race. It’s strong, common sense, attainable, and will make a difference in the lives of everyday Albertans.
- If there is one quality that would influence your choice on who becomes the next Leader of the UCP and the next Premier of Alberta, I would hope that it would be trust. I’ve proven you can trust me.
There is urgency in making sure your ballot is mailed in before the deadline, but if you haven’t heard about me or haven’t seen my plans for Alberta, please take a day or two and do a little research, then cast your ballot as you see fit.
I would be honored to have your #1 choice on the ballot.