Opinion: Quebecers and Albertans should set aside provincialism – by Katie Ragan (Montreal Gazette – December 18, 2018)


Equalization and pipelines should be projects that unite Canadians across the country.

Last week, the already rocky relationship between Alberta and Quebec got a little bit rockier. Premier François Legault haughtily announced that he would not support any revival of the Energy East pipeline, which if completed would transport landlocked Albertan oil across Quebec to be refined and exported from New Brunswick. Legault dismissed the idea that Quebecers should be expected to support the West’s “dirty energy.”

Days later, the federal government announced next year’s equalization numbers. As has become predictable, Quebec will receive by far the largest share of the pot, while Alberta and the other oil-producing provinces will receive nothing.

Alberta is even more enraged than usual over the apparent inequity of the equalization formula. That Albertans’ federal tax dollars are landing disproportionately in Quebec while their oil-based economy is in shambles and the provincial budget is in deficit is too much to bear.

Rachel Notley, Alberta’s premier, remarked that Legault should “get off his high horse” and recognize that Alberta’s oil is largely responsible for the size of Quebec’s equalization cheque each year.

Culturally, these two provinces can sometimes feel worlds apart. As a Montrealer by birth who spent the past half-decade working in Calgary, navigating my divided loyalties has been tricky.

For the rest of this article: https://montrealgazette.com/opinion/opinion-quebecers-and-albertans-should-set-aside-provincialism

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