The Calgary SunSun
03 Oct 2004
Byline: BY TED BYFIELD
Column: Alberta View
Possibly the most significant date in the history of Alberta will fall within a year after Nov. 22. That's the date of the provincial election.
Some time after that, the Martin government will announce the New National Energy Program, the purpose of which will be to commandeer Alberta's natural resource revenues and convey them to Eastern Canada generally and to Quebec in particular.
This is not a possibility.
I think we should consider it a dead certainty.
I also believe it imposes on every Albertan a single decision.
When the Martin government proposes this, will we vote to separate from Canada?
I'm sorry if I gave the impression that Ralph Klein is out of touch with reality in my last post. Compared to Link Byfield, Ralph is pretty well grounded. On the one hand, I suppose it's fair for the Tories and their minions to use scare tactics of an Ottawa NEP to win the election since Martin used scare tactics of the evil Alberta monster to win his election.
But Byfield isn't even posturing here...he seems to have had daily chats with David Herle to reveal the entire nefarious plot.
However, all this talk of "raiding" Alberta's wealth raises a very good question: Why shouldn't Canada? Just because it was decided many, many years ago that natural resources were a provincial responsibility. That's the only reason there is. Alberta's been blessed with huge oil reserves and I don't see a good reason not to share the wealth with the rest of the country. It wasn't good government, or Albertan igenuity, or Albertan foresight which created these oil reserves...we just got lucky here. Yeah, there would be a riot, but I don't see any reason, other than provincial jurisdiction, for the federal government not to find a clever way to siphon off some of the oil dollars to the rest of the country.