Alberta separatism, thought to be dead for decades, again pokes its head above the parapet. The Flintstone Federation is on the rise.
In letters to the editor, online comments and talk shows, many people are making the point that if no pipelines can be built because Montreal objects, or Burnaby objects, or premiers demand highwayman payoffs, what’s the point of Canada anyway — especially when Alberta’s crippled economy still sends cash down the equalization pipeline, and nobody seems to demonstrate against that one.
At the same time people say those things, of course, Alberta has a desperate need for federal stimulus money and expansion of employment insurance. Very few people will complain if the province gets them. These things aren’t always logical.
But the old western separation pitch can be incredibly powerful and damaging during a crisis seen as abetted by Ottawa, either by action or the lack of it.
There are already echoes of the fury over the first Trudeau’s National Energy Program in 1980. Interim federal Conservative Leader Rona Ambrose alluded to that feeling Monday, and she was right; it’s out there, and growing.
A Facebook page called The Republic of Western Canada has 13,200 members. Founded last fall, its goal is to create “a place where our votes count, our values are respected, our laws are the only laws of the land.”
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