As Calgary Herald columnist Don Braid noted, talk of Alberta separatism is
out in the open again, after a lull of 40 years. Trudeau appears to have
provoked an almost identical response in the West as the rage that greeted
his father’s National Energy Program in the 1980s.
Former Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall says he is involved because he is as incensed as many other westerners about the impact of federal legislation on the energy and agricultural sectors
Brad Wall claims he is “done with politics.” “I’m interested in politics but I’m just not going to run for anything,” the former Saskatchewan premier said, as he focuses on his new job as special adviser for law firm Oslers in Calgary. But there is a Hotel California effect to the political game — you can check out but you never really leave.
Hence Wall’s involvement with something called the “Buffalo Project,” a nascent initiative that includes what one source called “serious financial backers,” aimed at offering an unapologetic voice for Western Canadian interests.
The name itself is provocative. Buffalo was the name of the prairie “super-province” combining modern-day Alberta and Saskatchewan that Frederick Haultain, the first premier of the Northwest Territories, hoped to create in 1905. The Liberal prime minister at the time, Sir Wilfrid Laurier, decided against creating what would have been a large, conservative Western counterweight to central Canada, and instead designated them two separate provinces.
Buffalo appears to be the equivalent of a U.S.-style political action committee, an organization that pools contributions and donates the funds to specific campaigns. Wall denies it is a vehicle for his ambitions.
He has no formal standing with the group, he said, though he has helped them by speaking at a fundraising dinner. But he is involved because he is as incensed as many other westerners about the impact of federal legislation on the energy and agricultural sectors.