Alberta’s press published editorials in 1989 arguing that year’s Stanley Cup, won by the Calgary Flames, should instead be awarded to the Montreal Canadiens in the interests of national unity.
Today Albertans are wondering where’s our Stanley Cup. There’s high tensions, dire predictions and a lot of anger in the province which overwhelmingly voted Conservative.
Albertans have good reason to be concerned about the implications of that result. The bare analysis shows that in an election in which Conservatives squarely posed as an all-or-nothing affair, they’ve woke up with nothing. All sides here, however, would do well to back away from well-defined election stances. The promised epic election battle scored a Richter scale reading closer to that of a deflating balloon. A good tonic for this is to tone down the rhetoric.
Obviously, the prime minister has much work ahead of him to ensure Western Canadians have a vital say in national affairs and enjoy the same benefit of national leadership as other parts of the country.
Westerners would be equally well-served if they and their premiers could find a diplomatic route to make a valid case for the prairie provinces without further alienating the rest of the country.
On that avenue, the phalanx of conservative premiers who’d lined up against Justin Trudeau since last year began splitting off. The federal Conservatives and their provincial counterparts in Alberta and Saskatchewan, had posed the issue as a no-way, no-how proposition. Alberta Premier Jason Kenney released a list of demands, asking, essentially, that the Liberal leader adopt a number of federal Conservative campaign planks.
Kenney did, however, during a post statement press conference, begin sprinkling an inkling that he’s the one willing to talk. He specifically noted a cap on total oilsands emissions in order to exempt some new projects from strict environmental review. He’s promoting the yet-to-be described carbon charge on heavy emitters as a suitable stand-in for a general price on carbon that’s due in this province on Jan. 1. But Kenney’s message is still, clearly, that Trudeau will have to deal with him, not the other way round.
How the prime minister will react is unknown, though a first press conference in Ottawa included most of the right things to say.