Ben’s a scientist. Maybe a cowboy, too. Not sure. But he’s astute, accomplished and fully integrated into the pipeline business in Edmonton as a senior guy. Earlier today he sent this to me. Ouch.
I have spoken with dozens of business people all over Alberta. The level of sentiment for separation is higher than ever. What used to be a whispered and radical idea, is out in the open and not considered radical at all, rather almost mainstream.
My guess is that the Alberta Government is first going to try to negotiate a new transfer arrangement. It may also ask for a specific mandate to do so in the form of a referendum. If the rest of Canada does not negotiate seriously, there will be a second referendum. We will have a simple question and we will be gone. The negotiations will be pretty simple, we will do what we want to do and the ROC can agree or not, but we will go.
The very serious people I have talked to assume that if we do go, we will use the U.S. dollar for our currency and hire them to handle our defence. We will get a pipeline through the U.S. and turn off flow east and west as part of our negotiations. It is not going to be pretty.
I am astonished by the level of acrimony here. Lots of people would sort of joke about separation, but not that seriously. Now, I have friends on the bench who are talking about how to do it. No one alive in Alberta has forgotten the NEP. This is worse, because not only are we not getting world price, we can’t get it to market at any price.
The fallout from Monday night continues. It intensifies. Trudeau’s win, the climate change agenda, the pipeline bottleneck, the rise of the BQ, Calgary’s 30% office vacancy rate and the faltering Alberta economy have tipped the scales. The last 48 hours have birthed astonishing rebellion in the minds of otherwise sane people. East vs West. AB against the greenies. Kenney tackling Trudeau.
Did you catch the comments section of this pathetic blog yesterday? The inmates are fomenting open rebellion. Here were some classic cowboy, die-in-my-boots-not-on-my-knees words of defiance (and a little idiocy):
If Ontario attempts military action on Alberta, here’s how it will go. They will be badly damaged by the time they get through Manitoba, and they will regret having tried to go through Saskatchewan. Then winter will set in, and they will starve. And so will Ontario because of course the gas would be shut off. After that all the Alberta hunters with their 4×4’s and guns will be waiting for them. The idea that Ontario could send a bunch of Antifa, Millennials, and transgenders to Alberta and win a war is preposterous. If those folks you are hoping to sign up actually do, which they won’t. After the humiliating defeat, you would have to hope we have no reason to come back and take over Ottawa. Which we won’t, actually. Ottawa can rot in hell. We don’t want it. It’s a place of rot. Don’t forget. Modern war is simple. If you have the oil, you win. Now go charge up your iPhone on Alberta energy.
Whoa. This is sedition, n’est-ce pas? How did it happen?
Well, the Transmountain pipeline fiasco is a big part of it. Delay, delay, delay. So is the carbon tax, being fought bitterly by several provinces. The entire climate change agenda the T2 Libs have adopted is seen as utterly urban, antithetic to Alberta’s interests, and likely bogus. World oil prices still less than 50% of what they were a decade ago have crippled. Canadian crude has suffered for lack of pipe. As a result, Alberta’s been in a semi-recession now for years. House prices peaked long ago and have languished since. Calgary’s gleaming commercial core has been hollowed out. That flirtation with the NDP and Rachel Notley sure didn’t help. And now Albertans feel shut out of a government dominated by transgender snowflake unarmed moister pantywaists from Mississauga while Quebec nationalists swarm into the House of Commons to promote their own interests.
Okay, but what of this Wexit talk, this session chatter? Is it even credible?
Let’s review the rules, put in place following the near-death experience of the 1995 Quebec referendum. That’s when the House of Commons framed The Clarity Act, setting out the terms under which Canada would enter into negotiations following a referendum vote in a rebel territory.
Here are the conditions:
- MPs have the power to decide whether a proposed referendum question is ‘clear’ and unequivocally about secession before the public vote;
- The House of Commons has the power to determine whether or not a clear majority expressed itself following any referendum vote.
- All provinces and First Nations must be part of the negotiations.
- The House of Commons can override a referendum decision if it any of the above conditions are not met.
- The secession of a province would require an amendment to the Constitution to be legal.
And this is how the Canadian constitution gets amended: required is the approval of both the Senate and House of Commons and of the legislative assemblies of at least two thirds of all provinces representing at least 50% of the population. Good luck with that.
Two conclusions: Alberta will never leave because it can’t, unless it shoots its way out. And, more immediately, our current prime minister has a crisis on his hands.