Dear Premier Kenney,
During and since the recent federal election, we have been among a large number of Albertans discussing the future of our province.
In our view, the Trudeau government undertook a series of attacks not merely designed to defeat its partisan opponents, but to marginalize Alberta and Albertans within Canada’s political system.
One well-documented incident was the Prime Minister’s attack against Alberta’s energy sector during the French-language debate.
Alberta’s economy has been struggling for years, hundreds of thousands of Albertans are out of work or underemployed, businesses are closing, and capital is fleeing at an astonishing pace.
Instead of helping Alberta address these challenges, Ottawa has taken the opportunity to aggravate the situation and only made things worse.
Taxes and regulations have wrecked our economy, while radical environmental regulations threaten to prevent any possible recovery by shutting down our resource industry — an explicitly stated goal of our Prime Minister.
Many held out hope that the federal election would solve Alberta’s problems, and given the result, they now see separation from Canada as the only remaining solution.
Their frustrations are entirely valid, but why should we be the ones forced out of Confederation?
Alberta has been an essential part of Confederation for 114 years.
Alberta has contributed resources, ideas, jobs, and, yes, hundreds of billions of dollars to Confederation and all we ask in return is to be allowed to continue doing so.
Yet, if Ottawa remains unwilling to listen to Alberta’s plea, then separatist sentiment will grow even further.
Before Albertans take that step, however, we owe it to those who came before us, who have worked so hard to build Canada, to first provide an alternative to breaking up our country.
It’s time to fight for a new vision of Canada where regional differences are respected, where different provinces are allowed to try different policies, and where Albertans have the freedom to choose our own destiny.
Mr. Premier, we are grateful that you have vehemently protested the unprecedented attacks that the federal government has launched against Alberta’s economy in recent years.
However, while your protest was necessary and appreciated by Albertans, it is not enough.
If the government in Ottawa concludes that Alberta is a soft target, we will be subjected to much worse.
It is time for Albertans to boldly stand up for our own future and seek, as much as possible, to be the masters of our own destiny.
This means resuming control of the powers that we possess under the Constitution of Canada but which we have allowed the federal government to exercise for too long.
Poised and purposeful use of these powers will help Alberta build a safer, stronger, and more prosperous future in spite of a government in Ottawa that has never been more hostile to our values and interests.
Mr. Premier, it is critical for you to take all possible political and legal measures to reduce the financial raid of Alberta perpetuated by Canada’s tax-and-transfer system.
The most recent estimates are that Albertans transfer $5,200 per capita annually to other Canadians, for a total outflow from our province approaching $22 billion a year and $600 billion over the last 60 years.
The same federal politicians who wish to shut down Alberta’s key industries have no compunction about appropriating our Canadian dollars, generated by those industries, to buy votes elsewhere in the country.
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Executive Director of Project Confederation