Holding all the power now, Albertans would get richer while the balance of the country would get poorer
Canadians don’t value our fossil fuel economy, which explains why so many are OK to trash pipelines and see Alberta tank. Only 19 per cent think it more important to pursue oil and gas development than to go green and regulate oil, according to EKOS polling.
That 19 per cent figure shrinks to eight per cent for Canadians who consider themselves Liberals, six per cent for NDPers and two per cent for those who vote Green, meaning that politicians of most stripes have no interest in alienating their supporters to help Alberta’s energy economy recover.
Those figures also explain why Alberta’s sense of alienation is on the rise. According to Ipsos, fully 62 per cent believe Alberta “does not get its fair share from Confederation” (up from 45 per cent two decades ago), 46 per cent feel more attached to their province than to their country (up from 39 per cent) and 34 per cent “feel less committed to Canada than I did a few years ago” (up from 22 per cent). Just 18 per cent of Albertans believe “the views of western Canadians are adequately represented in Ottawa.”
One-quarter of Albertans now believe Alberta “would be better off if it separated from Canada,” a number that may well rise if the provincial economy founders, and would certainly rise if Albertans realized that they need Canada a lot less than Canada needs them.
Without Alberta’s wealth and foreign-exchange earnings, the living standard of Canadians outside Alberta would drop and the Canadian dollar would plummet, likely leading to inflation as the cost of imports rose.