Monday, July 11, 2005

The Missing Link

Link Byfield decided to extol the virtues of Alberta Separation in yesterday’s Calgary Sun. You can read some reaction to this here, here, and here.

It’s hard to know where to begin picking apart a column like this, so I’ll simply throw down some of “the best of Link” with my own rebuttal/snarky comments.

A University of Alberta professor I know sent me a lengthy article he's trying to get published, entitled: "Let's get while the getting's good."


Trying to get published? Sigh. If only the Alberta Report were still around…


Almost overnight, we would become one of the most prosperous nations in the world.




…until the price of oil drops. Or Canada decides not to let them into NAFTA. Or head-offices of Canadian companies leave Calgary. Or there's a mass exodus of human capital.

And there is no way a rich nation with 3 million people would have even remotely as much clout in the world as a slightly less rich nation of 30+ million people.


More importantly, we would create a country that reflects our own political and social beliefs, values and traditions, and our understanding of the common good.


Translation: This is the only way to prevent man on man monogamy.


Canada, says Craig, has been so badly governed since the Trudeau era, it has doomed itself to a Third World, banana republic fate.
We will become -- are in fact becoming -- the Argentina of the 21st century.


Is this guy serious? Canada has the best economy in the G8.


And Alberta owes it to itself, to its future citizens, and to like-minded people
in the rest of the country to save itself.


As a sovereign and independent nation, he suggests, our population -- viable to begin with -- would double in 10 years, even allowing for a welcome exodus of Albertans who would be happier back in Canada.


Alberta’s population will double in ten years? This means that either:

a) Alberta will dramatically increase its immigration rates - something I rather doubt.
b) There’s gonna be a lot of fucking going on in the new Alberta.

And you’re telling me Craig hasn’t found someone willing to publish his article? Colour me surprised.



We must now face the fact that the old Canada is gone forever and the new Canada is disgusting.


Yeah, Canada sure does suck, eh? I really hope that Link has just done a poor job of repeating Craig’s arguments because otherwise, this paper is really nothing more than an anti-Canadian paper with no real substance behind it.



And given the stern rejection of the Reform party by eastern Canadians, it's impossible to refute that the only forceful thing Albertans can do is to separate.

“I lost so I don’t want to play any more. Waaaaa!”



It’s hard to really argue against an idea that no one in Alberta takes seriously and I don’t want to waste too much time on it. Suffice to say, Canada is one of the best countries in the world to live in by any objective measure you choose and a new Alberta would have zero clout in the world. I also tend to think the economy might take a bit of a hit as, you know, all those head offices of Canadian companies in Calgary might prefer a different location to work out of. The only thing scarier than Link’s article is that the people of Alberta voted for him to be their Senator (even if it was, at best, a quasi-election).

73 Comments:

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Blogger Socialist Swine, at 2:37 AM  

  • "Alberta’s population will double in ten years? This means that either:

    a) Alberta will dramatically increase its immigration rates - something I rather doubt.
    b) There’s gonna be a lot of fucking going on in the new Alberta."


    Well after we get rid of all the gay people and ban abortions people will have tons more kids!

    -Socialist Swine

    By Blogger Socialist Swine, at 2:38 AM  

  • I agree CG, the Byfield column is an absolute joke!

    By Blogger John Murney, at 3:25 AM  

  • Great post!

    I wish these clowns "well" with their lofty little goals of separation. Byfield is clearly separated from reality already, so he's half way there.

    By Blogger Rob, at 3:40 AM  

  • Alberta would become the new Nigeria.

    I luv ya Calgary Grit, but am I glad I don't live in Alberta. Alberta's people are "human capital"? Funny, I always thought they were called "citizens."

    We know your hearts in the right place though.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:53 AM  

  • The secessionist trend is probably the most absurd political belief in modern existence. Advocating the breakup of the state because the democratically elected government does not reflect your political ideals is foolish. This isn't the British Empire. Alberta isn't India. If Albertans want a system that is only representative of what they agree with and the opinions of other Canadians in other provinces is irrelevant, then I suggest they move to a one party state.

    If, as one of the voices is telling me, the situation is more aligned towards activism for the sake of having something to whine about because things are pretty good right now in this country, then I suggest people find another political hobby. Breaking up the state because "the people need a cause!" is idiocy. What you are proposing is as pathetic and unrewarding as the secession of Bavaria from Germany. It has no point and nothing good can come from it. As I see it, Albertans have it pretty good. They are wealthy, pay less taxes than I do, and have a powerful industrial lobby in Ottawa. Their clout has been huge since the elimination of the NEP. Quit whining. Things aren't as bad as you wish them to be.

    By Anonymous Martin B., at 10:04 AM  

  • Wouldn't it be nice if the Quebec separatists were as ridiculed by the centre-left to the same degree that they ridicule the Alberta/Western Canadian ones? Maybe then we could get beyond the what’s in it for ME bullshit that goes on in this country.

    By Anonymous Don Mitchell, at 10:52 AM  

  • That whole comment about the Reform Party, Easterners and separation bothers me big time: where does this guy get off assuming that all or most Albertans support the Reform Party?

    If anything, Albertans support the Red Tory party of Klein, which has absolutely nothing to do with the Reform Party.

    For that professor to say that we would all separate from Canada, because 'our' party was not supported be people out east, is outrageously stupid.

    These Reformers have to start realizing that Albertans don't like them much either.

    By Anonymous calgary observer, at 11:13 AM  

  • Great dissection of a ridiculous column, GC. This is why we need Western liberal/Liberal bloggers. I don't think the same analysis would have the same ring if it came from us over at Cerberus. These idiots can't be allowed to run the asylum!

    I sometimes wonder whether it's better to ignore the Byfields and Levants of Alberta. Most parenting books tell you that it is better to ignore your child's temper tantrums because they are only attempts to get your attention and rewarding them with your attention just encourages more temper tantrums. But these ultra-right-wingnuts are supposedly adults, according to their birth certificates at least, and I end up thinking that we need to nip this kind of thing in the bud. Especially when the temper tantrums have spilled out of the Western Standard and the irrelevant right-wingnut blogoshere and into an established and well-read (if not well-respected!) newspaper.
    ~TB

    By Blogger Cerberus, at 11:33 AM  

  • My question is, how did this "University of Alberta professor" manage to get himself hired? And, what on earth is he "teaching" his students?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:59 AM  

  • He is not teaching anymore - thank God. My theory is that he was forced into retirement (universities are extremely liberal places, including in Alberta, so a right-wing nut like that would not be tolerated there).

    By Anonymous calgary observer, at 12:07 PM  

  • Alberta is the province with the highest level of interprovincial immigration of any province in the country. That is to say, that while Ontario's population is still increasing, that is due to foreign immigration and many of its native born citizens are migrating to other regions of the country, such as Alberta and BC.

    If for whatever reason Alberta were to be granted independance. I would venture to guess, that we would see a mass exodus of people back to Canada.

    Of course you have to build support for a movement such as this...so obviously it's not getting out of the blocks.

    By Blogger Stephen, at 12:19 PM  

  • Cerberus,

    I don't think that ignoring them is an option.

    I personally feel that these right-wing crazies should be confronted at every corner and challenged everytime they release (or try to release) one of these wacko papers calling on Alberta seperatism.

    These guys do not represent even a fraction of mainstream Alberta society, we should not let them think or act like they do.

    D

    By Blogger daveberta, at 12:30 PM  

  • Daveberta: I agree. That's why I said I come around to the view that we have to jump on this and nip it in the bud and why it's important to have blogs like Calgary Grit, Calgary Observer and your Daveberta, among so many others, to get the word out that the self-proclaimed voices of Alberta - the Byfields, Levants, Harpers, Solbergs, etc. - are no more the voice for all of Alberta or the West, than Martin is the voice for all of Canada. Remember the Liberals increased their votes in the last election and, together, the province placed more votes for federalist/progressive parties than conservative or regionalist parties.

    By Blogger Cerberus, at 12:49 PM  

  • You can laugh all you want people, but I've talked to all my friends (in Calgary) about seperation and most agree its the only option available to get Western Canada some representation.

    Like it or not, without Alberta, Canada's economy is in a horrible state, and without Alberta's transfer dollars, Canada become a deficit nation or has to cancel health care entirely.

    Keep laughing, but remember he who laughs last.

    http://www.separationalberta.com/

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:06 PM  

  • Don Mitchel; Quebec separatists are just as out to lunch on a lot of issues. Many of them twist history, print bogus economical studies, make quasi-racist comments, and distort the truth.


    Socialist Swine; I can't believe I missed the obvious gay marriage joke on the guy's population comments. Good one.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 2:29 PM  

  • Shall I be the first?

    Anonymous (why do all the cranky comments come from anonymous sources?): Alberta is a significant and great part of this great country. I would not want to minimize its importance in the least. But, let's be honest here too. It has 10% of the population and 10% of the seats in the House, so there is representation. Alberta is a great example of what can be achieved financially in this country, but the total taxes collected out of Alberta do not even fully cover the transfer payments to the Maritimes. Albertans may be more profitable than elsewhere on a per capita basis, but, I'm sorry, on absolute numbers it is still Ontario that shoulders the weight of the transfers and the weight of the tax burden. Just some simple math will show you that without Alberta taxes, Canada is still in surplus territory. As indicated here, Canada is doing better than alright. Alberta is a great part of that, but only a part.

    "All your friends"? "Only option?" Your circle of friends is clearly very small, my friend. You need to get out more.
    ~TB

    By Blogger Cerberus, at 2:31 PM  

  • Perhaps anonymous *is* Link Byfield????

    By Blogger daveberta, at 3:03 PM  

  • Cerebus,

    Your information and argumentation is akin to the website you link to:

    Empty?

    Heres some real statistics:
    That number is how much money the Alberta government sent to Ottawa, on Alberta's behalf, since the January 1st of this year, over the amount of money Ottawa "gives back" through complicated transfer calculations. Think of it as a donation? That is what it costs Albertans to be Canadians. The amount is based on numbers from Alberta's 2003 estimates. In 2003, the Alberta government estimated it sent $11,100,000,000 (that is eleven point one billion dollars) of our money to Ottawa. This year, the amount could be much higher, perhaps $12 billion to $15 billion.

    Do you actually believe the maritimes recieve more than 11 billion per year? Is that FAIR?

    And again, what EXACTLY does Alberta get for this 11 billion per year? 10% of the seats in a house dominated by a corrupt and democratically bankrupt regime overwhelmingly rejected by Albertans? Sounds fair to ontario, I guess.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:21 PM  

  • "And again, what EXACTLY does Alberta get for this 11 billion per year? 10% of the seats in a house dominated by a corrupt and democratically bankrupt regime overwhelmingly rejected by Albertans?"

    Are you saying Alberta should have more representation in the House of Commons because our economy is doing better than most provinces? That's a kind of scewed logic (First-Past-the-Economic-Post?).

    And about the rejected voters comment: 76% of the voters in my provincial riding rejected the provincial Tories in the last provincial election, does that mean we should separate from Alberta? (that would cause some fun problems due to the Alberta Legislature being in the riding...). I kind of like the sound of the "Republic of Edmonton Centre."

    Perhaps you don't understand how "democracy" is supposed to work.

    If you want to advocate for Alberta separation, find an argument with some weight or go back to the looney bin.

    D

    PS. Are you Ezra Levant?

    By Blogger daveberta, at 3:59 PM  

  • Cerberus and Anonymous; your arguments are a clear indication of what is so wrong with this country. Have provinces and Have Not provinces, have you ever heard of anything more divisive? Good christ at times this country sounds like a bad road movie where a bunch of spoiled brats (provinces) and their indulgent parents (federal party in power as the spineless dad and the supreme court as the soothing but in-denial mother) traveling across the country (like the Griswolds?). One bunch scream "its mine and I want more", another bunch screaming "its mine and you can't have it", Dad screaming "If I give you more will you just shut up!" and mom yelling at dad "if you don't give them everything you'll be in big trouble!"
    Despite all conventional logic and alot of questionable "leadership" this country has stayed together and prospered. Despite a history of government by playing one side against the other (colonist vs mother country, indian against indian, french against english, east against west, rural against urban, etc), Canada has prospered. Was this by design, fate, or just increadible and undeserved good fortune, I have no idea. But this cannot go on forever (you would think) and who ever gets the levers of power should make it a policy to unite this country and treat us all equally. And I mean EVERYBODY! Because if they don't all this good fortune will end.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:04 PM  

  • Anonymous 2: Maybe I didn't spell it out well enough, but that was basically my point. Anonymous 1 says if Alberta goes it alone Canada will fail, go into deficit, etc. The federal government, according to him, collects $11.1B from Alberta but, according to StatsCan, transfers $94B to the provinces (including for immigration, security, etc.), i.e. Alberta contributes more than its fair share but without it the ROC will not be in trouble. So the bigger point is, let's drop this me and my region are so important because there is a counterargument to any and all of that.

    The focus needs to be on what is good for the country as a whole. Now should that include transfers, more transfers, less? This is the democratic debate we all have to get involved in. If democracy gets you results you don't like, then you work hard to convince everyone else they were wrong. Lord knows, there are even more conservatives in Ontario who have a problem with transfers. So to Alberta separatists like Anonymous 1, I say stop your whining about taking your marbles away just because everyone wants to play a slightly different game. This kind of talk is not productive for the country and for Alberta.

    By Blogger Cerberus, at 4:20 PM  

  • Anonymous 2 is Me and I was also talking to folks like you who talk big about all for one and one for all, but in reality deride folks who don't follow your point of view to the letter. Who think that the state should have more control of our lives and think that the Joe and Sally six-pack have no right to have the ability to make decisions on their own.
    Anonymous is a closet fascist and you’re a Limousine liberal. Both equally abhorrent in my view.

    By Anonymous Don Mitchell, at 4:33 PM  

  • Cerebus,

    Democratic Reform
    'EEE' Equal Senate
    Referendum standards
    Changes to equalization formula's
    A PM from ANYWHERE but Quebec
    Reduced appointments
    Accountable governments


    All ideas toted from the Reform/Conservative party, with grassroots springing from Western Canada. Please, pray tell, have Easterners embraced to help westerners feel recognized?

    Ontario is exactly akin to the Liberal party of Canada: absolute power corrupts absolutely. And both are absolutely corrupt, but could care less as long as they hold the balance of power.

    Anon-2: Canada's greatest fortune is living next door to the most successful economy, and nation to ever exist on Earth. We ride them coattails great, but when things go bad, we will be FAR worse off than they are. But please keep calling names, it shows your maturity.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:17 PM  

  • As I wrote on my blog, separatism is just another word for selfishness, like a kid throwing a temper tantrum when other kids in the playground don't readily share their toys.

    Yes, we do have such nutjobs in Alberta who think that they are the best and that the rest of the country is way beneath them and only there to serve them.

    Alberta is rich not by design, but out of sheer luck (thank Mother Nature for that). Without its oil, Alberta would be no better or worse than Saskatchewan or other regions in Canada.

    Without the world situation and rising oil prices, Klein would not have been able to pay off the debt this quickly either.

    The other parties in Alberta (Libs and NDP) have realized that this no way to handle Alberta's future, while the PC still relies on this province's natural resources (and has no real plan for the future).

    People like that "retired" professor and Levant are nutjobs. They are frustrated little kids because they don't get to have their cake and eat it. Alberta IS represented in Ottawa, but not by the people Levant and other nutjobs would like to see in those positions. So, it's just really sour grapes - nothing more, nothing less.

    Out of 50 people I meet in Calgary, 2 or 3 at the most fall into the nutjob category. The rest a) don't support Klein or the PC party at all, b) have voted or will vote Lib, NDP or Green.

    What nutjobs like Levant overlook is the fact that Alberta could never go it alone. We have barely 3 million people. We'd need to build a military, we'd have to set up all kinds of other infrastructure and systems to replace federal ones. Even with all our oil wealth, that would be completely and utterly unfeasible.

    Of course, nutjobs like Levant would then want to join the US to take care of the above issues. Great. That would still leave us with a lot of "upgrading" and "retrofitting". Think of lawyers for example: they would all have to take additional training in US law and sit for another bar exam. And this would be true of many other professions and trades as well.

    The only reasonable (sort of) scenario would see BC, Alberta and Saskatchewan joining forces and becoming a new independent "Western Canada" entity. But BC will never go along with that (because they are quite happy with Libs and NDP, and the same is true of Sask.).

    The long and short of it: it's a pipe dream dreamt up by frustrated right wingers and xenophobes.

    By Anonymous calgary observer, at 6:06 PM  

  • Anonymous 1:

    When you actually elect some separatist MP's.. I'll take notice. Till then, this is nothing but a rant on your part that I view as being a very small discontented minority.

    Why dont you also tell us who you are? If you firmly believe your views, there should be no reason to stay hidden in the shadows; stand up publicly for your beliefs.

    By Anonymous Scott Tribe, at 6:23 PM  

  • I’ve often thought that if Canada adopted a new electoral system that we might be able to smooth out some of the regional pressures in this country. If for instance Alberta was to send 62% Conservative, 22% Liberals, 10% NDP, and 6% Greens to Ottawa rather then 99.9% Conservatives maybe some of this gun-toting, gay-bashing, hill-Billy image would rub off. Maybe, if Ontario was to send a flock of Conservatives to Ottawa (31% last election) our friend Mr. Anonymous wouldn’t find it as easy to label everyone in that province as “absolutely corrupt”. Maybe, just maybe, we could improve the national dialogue in this country if the Bloc Québécois’s stranglehold on Quebec was broken by the fettering away of MP’s to the NDP, Conservatives, Liberals and others. A change in our electoral system wouldn’t be a panacea to the problems we face with regional and inter-provincial bickering, but it could perhaps dispel some of the myths we have about each other and more truly reflect the diverse mosaic of public opinion nation wide. A move to a new electoral system is not a move that would be beneficial for my particular party of choice, but I think it is the right thing to do for the good of the nation (I for one, do not mix those two together).

    By Anonymous bwest, at 6:25 PM  

  • Well said apart from the claim that Canada has the best economy in the G8. True we're the only one with a surplus, but the economy is more than the year-end balance of government spending. On productivity, employment, standard of living, we trail the US significantly.

    We're not #1. But we're likely still top 5 which is hardly banana republic.

    - Mustafa Hirji

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:00 PM  

  • daveberta:
    Canada does not have democracy. Canada has constitutional monarchy in theory, and oligarchy in fact. Therefore it is pointless to base the debate on whether people understand how democracy works.
    Our federal government has two (two!) ministers to address the "democratic deficit." I am not holding my breath, mind you.
    "Ministry for Democratic Renewal" sounds to me very much as "Ministry of Truth", "Ministry of Information Retrieval", or "Pravda".

    Anonymous 6

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:38 PM  

  • Scott Tribe: In your comment to Anonymous 1,

    "Why dont you also tell us who you are? If you firmly believe your views, there should be no reason to stay hidden in the shadows; stand up publicly for your beliefs."

    A person has every right to express his views and still keep anonymity. The views will hardly harm you. History is littered with charred bodies burned at stake of those who firmly believed their views and did not stay hidden in the shadows; burned by those who held politically correct views of their times.

    Anonymous 6

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:53 PM  

  • We dont burn people at the stake in Canada over their political views, last I looked.

    By Anonymous Scott Tribe, at 10:38 PM  

  • Anon 6,

    Yes, we have a constitutional monarchy, but the last time I checked, it wasn't the Queen making all the big decisions in Ottawa.

    Hence the democratically electing a "House of Commons." Whether the electoral system sucks or not is another issue.

    D

    PS. Are YOU Ezra Levant?

    By Blogger daveberta, at 11:17 PM  

  • Calgary Observer says: These Reformers have to start realizing that Albertans don't like them much either.

    Actually, Reform won a clear majority of Alberta's votes in 1993 (52.3%), and in 1997 (54.6%), the Canadian Alliance won a clear majority in 2000 (58.9%), and the Conservative Party won 61.7% of Alberta's votes in 2004. A majority of Albertans very much liked Reform and still do. It is from this pool of support that an independence movement can form.

    I hate to rain on the parade of all you get tough Liberals and NDPers who are going to jump on separatism and nip it in the bud, but it may do you some good to look at the numbers in Alberta. You don't have them. Your parties have no credibility amongst the majority of the people here. The very people you malign as whackos and nutjobs, are the people who will decide Alberta's future. If you're serious about combatting western separation, you may want to tone down the rhetoric a bit, or, better yet, shut up all together.

    On separation itself, I have this to offer - it simply isn't necessary to separate from Canada in order to achieve greater independence, improved governance, and a reduction in the powers exercised in our province by the eastern Canadian politicians and appointees. Both the Liberal Party and the NDP endorsed asymmetrical federalism for Quebec during Meech and Charlottetown, so Albertans should support political change in this direction. If Alberta can assume more powers for itself, the other western provinces will quickly follow along. Then, and only then, will western alienation decrease.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:34 PM  

  • Triple E Senate

    Give me a break. Why should Alberta have the same number of Senators as Ontario? Or Manitoba Or PEI.

    There is over 10.5 million people in Ontario, are they not EQUAL to an Albertan. Why should people have less of a voice because they live in a certain province?

    And finally, what makes you think we will LET you leave?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:58 PM  

  • Yeah, a 3E Senate would solve every single problem. Because, you know, having 40% of our Senators from the Maritimes will eliminate Western alienation. I never really understood how Senate reform was supposed to give a voice to the West.

    And for the anonymous who mentioned the 11 billion "deficit", does that count things like paying for the armed forces or Alberta's share of the national debt? Admitedly, Alberta gives more than it gets right now, but that's only because natural resources are a provincial jurisdiction and because oil prices are sky high.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 12:13 AM  

  • When some anonymous person talks, all I hear is a whistle in the wind ...

    By Anonymous calgary observer, at 12:13 AM  

  • anonymous; What specific powers would you like to see Alberta get under a Meech Lake type deal?

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 12:15 AM  

  • D:

    "Yes, we have a constitutional monarchy, but the last time I checked, it wasn't the Queen making all the big decisions in Ottawa."

    I said constitutional monarchy in theory, oligarchy in fact. Oligarchy is the word.

    "Hence the democratically electing..."

    Nice dream. The House does not make the important decisions. The oligarchy does.

    Anonymous 6

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:15 AM  

  • From now on, I'm going to address all the anonymous posters as 'Loretta.'

    To the Loretta who posted:

    "I hate to rain on the parade of all you get tough Liberals and NDPers who are going to jump on separatism and nip it in the bud, but it may do you some good to look at the numbers in Alberta. You don't have them. Your parties have no credibility amongst the majority of the people here.

    Actually, the majority of Albertans don't vote. So, in fact, no party has majority support from Albertans.

    "The very people you malign as whackos and nutjobs, are the people who will decide Alberta's future."

    No. Albertans will decide their future. The majority of Albertans are not whackos and nutjobs (ie: Alberta seperatists).

    "If you're serious about combatting western separation, you may want to tone down the rhetoric a bit, or, better yet, shut up all together."

    Yeah, "shut up all together". If that's your version of a 'free Alberta,' I don't want to live there.

    By Blogger daveberta, at 12:23 AM  

  • Scott Tribe: "We dont burn people at the stake in Canada..."

    Yes, we do, figuratively speaking. We often destroy the credibility of people for their speaking of taboos (as Alberta separation or "universal" medicare are), while lying opportunists get an easy ride. It's human nature, and not only in Canada. Actually, Canada is very nice, I have not lived in a better place. Specifically, Alberta.

    A6

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:37 AM  

  • Loretta 6,

    Arg. Yes, I misread your post.

    So, oligarchy, eh? When does the revolution begin?

    D :P

    By Blogger daveberta, at 12:50 AM  

  • Alberta has been governed by the same party for, effectively, decades. In fact, the number of individuals who have held power and directly influenced policy has been quite limited. Is Alberta not as much an oligarchy as Canada?

    Taxes at all levels serve in large part to redistribute wealth away from those that are most wealthy. Even in Alberta where we have a flat 10% tax, someone who earns a very high income pays a very high amount of tax. Why are we okay with this on a personal level, but at a provincial level, this same concept is somehow "unfair" on our province? (And how will we feel if, for some unforeseen reason, oil drops to $10 a barrel, and we now have to look to the rest of the country to help support us? - Okay, so I know it's unlikely, but you get the point.)

    I'm thankful that much of the population growth in this province is driven by interprovincial migration, people who have ties and an affinity to the rest of Canada, and often people who bring a more liberal, centrist political view with them. This serves to dilute those on the far right, who seek to protect something that doesn't exist in the first place.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:40 AM  

  • A question for those Albertans pushing for EEE Senate.

    Alberta has 10% of the population. That should entitle it to approximately 10% of senators.

    Under EEE it would be 1 of 10 provinces. Which would give Alberta 10% of the senators.

    So did I am miss something or will you tell me PEI is not EQUAL?

    Or is this all about hating Ontario and Toronto? and perhaps Quebec?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:58 AM  

  • Grit-

    The 11 Billion dollar deficit is this year ALONE.

    Alberta has, on a per capita basis, been Ottawa's largest single contributor. For example, between 1961 and 1992, Alberta paid $139 billion more to Ottawa than it received back from Ottawa. That is what it cost Albertans to be Canadian.


    Alberta's cost 1997 - 2003 **
    In Billions Canadian Dollars: $54.933
    1997: $5.668
    1998: $6.279
    1999: $6.130
    2000: $7.190
    2001: $8.568
    2002: $9.998
    2003: $11.100
    **Source: Alberta Finance, March 2004

    There are two net contributors to Ottawa: Alberta and Ontario. The difference is that Ontario gets a return on investment. They have a diversified economy with end use manufacturing. They also have a strong voice in federal policy. The Kyoto Accord would have adversely affected Alberta and Ontario, however, Ottawa exempted the Ontario Auto Industry from the Accord, not Alberta.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:02 AM  

  • Those of you who dont understand the basis of an equal senate should read up a little bit more on the American or Austrailian Political system.

    I know its hard to imagine a world where Ontario can't run everything just because they have a large population, but it can work.

    Then again, Spoiled Little Easterners would never give up any power willingly. They act just like the party they vote for: corrupt and willing to do anything to retain control.

    ME FIRST ONTARIO!!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:05 AM  

  • You have no clue. 6 out of 10 provinces are still east of Manitoba. You would simply transfer power from 11 million Ontarians to the 4 atlantic provinces which have maybe 2 million people on a good day.

    The funny thing is Alberta’s population is growing, which in future should mean more representatives. At the end of the day EQUAL would screw Alberta just as much as Ontario.

    If you could put aside your hatred of Ontario for just one second you would realize that.

    But hey lets go all the way, how about an equal House of Parliament also! An Ontario ridings would have 350 000 people while every street in PEI could have it's own MP!

    By Anonymous Greedy Ontario, at 12:44 PM  

  • Loretta writes: "Ontario is exactly akin to the Liberal party of Canada: absolute power corrupts absolutely. And both are absolutely corrupt, but could care less as long as they hold the balance of power."
    So what's your problem? If they "could care less", then they do care, at least some. Don't you want them to care?
    Loretta also writes: "Canada's greatest fortune is living next door to the most successful economy, and nation to ever exist on Earth."
    Is Singapore next door? Sung-dynasty China? Or do you mean Norway, which topped the UN Human Development Index in 2004? Yes, Loretta, we are all neighbours in the global village. Even Albertans are my neighbours. "My Canada includes Alberta": catchy phrase for a bumper sticker, don't you think?

    By Blogger Aeolus, at 1:17 PM  

  • I hate to be a prick but in the last federal election the Liberals received 30% of the vote, the Alberta independance party less than 1%. That makes the Liberal Party in Alberta 30 times more popular than Loretta and Link. Maybe you folks would be more at home in the U.S.A? Don't let the door hit you on the ass.

    Wpg guy

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:03 PM  

  • I thought Canada was suppose to be a place of acceptance and understanding. So why is anybody who disagrees with Alberta's place in confederation a "nutjob"? Why can't people have different ideas without having their mental capacity or intelligence attacked? And after doing so you then wonder why there are anonymous posters...

    By Anonymous observer, at 2:42 PM  

  • Observer

    Separatist get no quarter from this patriot. Look for your "understanding" and "acceptance" else where traitor.

    Where ever I see a separatist, I shall oppose them with all my strength and heart.

    By Anonymous Anonymous in Ontario, at 3:07 PM  

  • "Where ever I see a separatist, I shall oppose them with all my strength and heart."

    And that is the problem. Since 1867 when BC was excluded from confederate meetings Ontario has continued to ignore the West. Have you ever thought of "examining the issues to help Canada become a stronger, more united country?"

    By Anonymous observer, at 3:31 PM  

  • Observor..you twit...we built the railway to keep you around....do all you Canada haters ignore real history or are you just retards?

    Wpg guy

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:17 PM  

  • Don't BS me.

    Ontario isn't ignoring anyone. Many of Alberta's issues are also Ontario's issues. After all we are a HAVE province also. We also see our hard earned tax dollars sent to other provinces and pay a price for being Canadian.

    I know who the separatist folks are. You only need to do a web search to see the kind of people they are and their reasons for separating.

    You are a traitor pure and simple, you plot against queen and country.

    I will oppose you.

    By Anonymous Anonymous in Ontario, at 4:32 PM  

  • Observer:

    How on earth do you link ignoring or even opposing Alberta separatists with ignoring the West. That is ludicrous. No one here as far as I have read is trying to insult the intelligence of Westerners or Albertans (that would be an odd thing to do indeed on a Calgary-based blog). Commenters are attacking the intelligence of advocates of separatism and the idea of Western separatism. (Well, and maybe your intelligence as well for continually not making the distinction and for speaking as though all "Westerners" feel the same way as you do when really you are just talking about a few Albertans.)

    By Blogger Cerberus, at 5:23 PM  

  • If any of you have been in Calgary the past week, you would have seen all the Canadian flags on cars, houses and such. Canadian patriotism is alive in Calgary.

    For some of you though, you need to take a hard look at yourself. There is a fine line between patriotism and nationalism the latter being unequivocally rigid and equally as destructive as the separatist cause.

    You are both in the same boat like it or not, and you're rowing in opposite directions. Sounds like both groups really have Canadian and Albertan interests in mind. NOT.

    By Blogger Canadian Perasma, at 1:11 AM  

  • Also, I second bwest's statments because I agree with them and they deserve more airtime.

    By Blogger Canadian Perasma, at 1:17 AM  

  • Wpg guy - Find a representative from Western Canada from any of the conferences that took place in Charlottetown, Quebec City, or London. 36 people and not one from West of Ontario. And BTW The railway was built to get BC into confederation (1871) Alberta and Saskatchewan were simply in the way.

    "Ontario isn't ignoring anyone. Many of Alberta's issues are also Ontario's issues. After all we are a HAVE province also. We also see our hard earned tax dollars sent to other provinces and pay a price for being Canadian."

    Money is only a small part of the issue. There are a lot of other issues, like say the government signs an accord that has the potential to hurt Ontario and Alberta's economies. Why is it that the Federal government exempts Ontario, but not Alberta? Why is the Offical Opposition fighting the beef ban in American courts instead of the Federal government? What happened to the softwood lumber dispute that has cost so many jobs? Why can a farmer from Ontario sell their wheat to whomever they want but an Alberta farmer cannot? .... you see, it's more then just money or gay marriage.

    "You are a traitor pure and simple, you plot against queen and country."

    I have no problems with Alberta continuing to be a productive member of the commonwealth. It could end up being very comparable to how the BNA act dissolved the Act of Union. God save the Queen.

    "Well, and maybe your intelligence as well for continually not making the distinction and for speaking as though all "Westerners" feel the same way as you do when really you are just talking about a few Albertans.)"

    The concerns listed above, however, are felt by a great deal of westerners. Some may support seperation, others may not. But if the issues are not dealt with "The West Wants In" can quickly change to "The West Wants Out" In my opinion, all it would take is a well respected leader to take up the torch of seperation. So rather than being advesarial (which only causes more division) why not look at the issues behind the problem and work at trying to solve them. Making seperatists WANT to stay is much more powerful than trying to force/insult them into staying.

    By Anonymous observer, at 2:35 AM  

  • The seperatist movement in Alberta is a lot stronger than you lefties care to think; and insulting comments will only accentuate the desire to separate. Not one of you has made a compelling, intelligent argument as to why Alberta should stay in Canada.

    P.S.
    An elected senate with equal representation from every province would be the best thing for Canada. It would insure more balanced government and regional issues would be looked after.

    Ty

    By Anonymous hi-tech redneck, at 3:00 PM  

  • Why should Ontario stay in Canada?

    Most of our trade is with the US. We export our tax dollars to the rest of the country and yet the other lesser provinces still hate us. We have to listen to insults from the rest of the country, knowing damn well that Ontario's (and Toronto's) robust economy provides the country with the bulk their services at our own expense.

    Despite all this we in Ontario aren't obsessed with whining. We stay in Canada because we live in greatest country in the world. And anyone who has traveled the world knows it.

    The EQUAL part of EEE Senate solves nothing. Your beloved Alberta would end up with almost the exact same number of representatives. You increase the influence of Sask and Manitoba but at the expense of BC. And guess what; the people of those provinces don’t share your "hi-tech redneck" agenda, so at the end of the day you are going to be just as bitter a "hi-tech redneck". Or you will whine that under EEE the Maritimes have the same number of senators as all of the west. There will always be reason to whine.

    Stop pretending that separatist are reasonable people, they are not. They are extremists, just go to their websites and see the kind of treasonous trash that leads this crusade.

    As patriots we should not be tolerating these people! Call me a "nationalist" if you will, but I will confront these people and name them for the traitors that they are.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:50 PM  

  • "Democracy must be something more than two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner."

    By Anonymous James Bovard (1994), at 5:17 PM  

  • "Why should Ontario stay in Canada?"

    You obviously didn't read my whole last post, because Alberta is only partially concerned with the financial aspects (and the insults, we get a fair share of them too.) It's the fact that Ottawa doesn't care about what concerns Albertians. They don't deal with the issues that impact our lives. If Ontario sneezes, Ottawa is there with a tissue in a gold plated box. Alberta has to rely on the Official Opposition to deal with not only national, but international issues.

    "The EQUAL part of EEE Senate solves nothing."

    Wow. You really don't get it, do you? It's not about Alberta's desire to rule over confederation, it's about have a balanced government in which the people of Canada are represented. It's about having a heathly, thriving democracy. Having one person (no matter who the PM is) rule like a dictator is not in the best interest of the country. An elected dictator is still a dictator.

    "Stop pretending that separatist are reasonable people, they are not. They are extremists, just go to their websites"

    I would recommend starting off with this

    Wow. Pretty scary, eh? (If you compare the article with anonymous you see who is really scary)

    And you still haven't explained why becoming a seperate commonwealth country is traitorous to the Queen...

    By Anonymous observer, at 8:51 PM  

  • I am from Alberta as well. I have noticed a large increase in separatist/independence sentiment amongst Albertans in the last number of years. Every talk radio program seems to be dominated by such callers (even Wild Rose Country on the CBC has a hard time screening them out).

    I blame Jean Chretien for this. He was too partisan and too much of a simpleton to be prime minister of a complex country. His practice of currying favour in the east by campaigning against "scary" Alberta may have served his immediate interests well, but his true legacy appears to be a vibrant and growing independence movement in Alberta.

    By Anonymous Abe, at 10:55 PM  

  • I see the Calgary Grit has declared with all his manhood that the price of oil might take a dive and that Canada has a lot of clout that Alberta would lose. These two comments are somewhere beneath my ridicule, though they are slightly less asinine than the idea that corporate head offices would suddenly head towards a higher taxation environment. Well CG, I've got news for you: Canada has no financial levers that they can use against Alberta. I suppose you and your leftist clowns could muster your anti-Alberta (read self-hate) forces and protest a ban on Alberta oil, but then oil is a world commodity isn't it. Methinks China and its voracious appetite won't give a rat's ass. Yes, I suppose the price of oil could plummett from $60 all the way down to $30 if things take a turn for the worse, but that just means Alberta won't be obscenely rich. The problem with you folks, particularly in Ontario, is that you have been mocking Alberta views for so long now, you've never stopped to think that it might be better to ensure your countrymen were respected under a common roof. But those Albertans are crazy, they're not reading the script, just take their money and ignore them. We've had decades to reform our democracy and ensure that all regions in this vast territory had an equitable voice in Confederation; instead of laughing in their faces while we out East appoint the paltry six party hacks to "represent" Alberta's interests even after they go through the attempt at electing their own senators. With a piddly couple of thousand peacekeepers around the world, Canada has no more clout. Alberta by itself could easily contribute more than this and probably would if it had the jurisdiction. What the fuck are you guys smoking?

    By Blogger the monarchist, at 11:27 PM  

  • One think I don't see on that webpage is a reason for separating.

    Just a whiny traitor pouting about Stevie-H being incompetent.

    Get back to when you have real cause. Whining about Canada rejecting an extreme right wing agenda is not cause, Traitor.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:09 AM  

  • "One think I don't see on that webpage is a reason for separating."

    You must have mixed this section...

    "We have witnessed a parliamentary government of the British Crown and tradition, faced with a protracted and clear demonstration of a loss of majority confidence, refuse to adhere to the most fundamental tenets of responsible government by submitting itself to an immediate and declared confidence vote."

    That has nothing to do with Harper. It has everything to do with Martin's lust for power. Please read BEFORE you comment.

    And feel free to also look at all the other issues that I've brought up that you have conveniently ignored.

    "Whining about Canada rejecting an extreme right wing agenda is not cause"

    Wait a second, extreme right? What rock did you crawl out from under? There is nothing extreme about the Conservative agenda. Letting parents, rather than the government, decide how money should be spent on their children. Wow. That's pretty scary.

    "Traitor."

    You keep saying this, but you provide no proof. Was the BNA traitorous? How about the Act of Union? It would be just another step in the evolution of the commonwealth in North America.

    By Anonymous albertan observer, at 1:28 AM  

  • I think its beautiful to see all these Libby-lefters claiming "there is no seperatist sentiment", and "all seperatists are traitors/idiots" and then argued on clear facts they cannot answer by several Albertans clearly pro (or at least considering) seperation.

    I hope they all keep their heads in the sand. When the chequebook is empty and Alberta continues to prosper as an independant state, maybe we can recall such comments?

    How come no one can come up with a good reason Alberta should stay a part of Canada?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:04 PM  

  • Please, please lefties...give Alberta one ((1)) reason to stay. It seems that nobody can provide a reason for Alberta to stay. Alberta's anger is real...corrupt socialists (ie. Liberal and NDP) will not be calling the shots for us much longer. Calling Alberta seperatists names clearly shows that you lefties have nothing to offer.

    By Anonymous RJW, at 7:31 PM  

  • Hey, you have a great blog here! I'm definitely going to bookmark you!
    I have a cleveland bankruptcy lawyer
    site/blog. It pretty much covers cleveland bankruptcy lawyer
    related stuff.

    Come and check it out if you get time :-)

    By Blogger billuk, at 11:13 PM  

  • Hey, you have a great blog here! I'm definitely going to bookmark you!

    I have a Free site Free Article Search. It pretty much covers author gallery image lonely planet type related stuff.

    Come and check it out if you get time :-)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:46 PM  

  • Hi, I was just blog surfing and found you! If you are interested, go see my mental health clinic chicago
    related site. It pretty much covers mental health clinic chicago
    stuff. I guess you may find something of interest.

    By Blogger Tom Naka, at 5:28 AM  

  • i'm left-wing, through and through. i am from British Columbia and my opinions have always been for equal representation, something the west doesn't have. nor the fast east, for that matter. it's Ontario and Quebec who run the show.

    i've never once voted Liberal... nope. either Green or NDP... and now those two parties seem like jokes to me. i've been following the ideals of the conservatives for a long time and as much as i disagree with a hell of a lot of what Harper has had to say (especially on the issues of gays/lesbians) i believe the conservatives are the best bet we have at running this country.

    i also throughly believe separtism could be a great idea. why couldn't we form a separate country? who says we'd even be leaving the commonwealth? you can separate from Canada and remain under the influence of the crown.

    if anything, the threat would bring more attention to the west and hopefully more rights for us. it's working for Quebec.

    they deserve the rights and i respect the Bloc Quebecois for fighting for them. i study canadian history and politics in college and i truly believe the French-Canadians often got bum-deals.

    so i say good for them. at least the Bloc is trying to make some sort of a difference with their own lives.... and they're doing it democratically.

    oh uh... and i'd like to point out that constantly referring to someone as a 'traitor' merely because they do not agree with your views is rather childish and petulant.

    criticizing the democratic system is healthy and more patriotic than you would think. does anyone know of the plight of Socrates? he was sentenced to death by thick-headed officials who believed that criticizing government policies was traitorous... without those criticisms, without people fighting for fairer rights... without the threat of separatism there would be no effort to reform Canada to make it a stronger country.

    i applaud observer for being an active participant in the Canadian democratic system by speaking his/her mind.

    By Blogger miker, at 8:29 PM  

  • Here it is... FREE advertising, FREE download. No cost to you! Get your FREE download NOW! Make money and get FREE advertising! This is a great program for you to take advantage of... Check this out now for FREE!

    To find out more visit: internet selling opportunities site. It successfully exposes FREE information covering traffic and internet selling opportunities related stuff. Don't forget, FREE, FREE, FREE!!!

    By Blogger Scott A. Edwards, at 4:41 AM  

  • Wow, there is a lot of helpful data above!

    By Anonymous comprar yate, at 1:27 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home