2019 and the Future of Alberta Separatism

By Michael Wagner

The future of Alberta separatism is bright. The anticipated elections of 2019 are likely to result in circumstances that generate increasing support for Alberta independence. With Jason Kenney as Alberta’s premier, and Justin Trudeau as Canada’s prime minister, the stage will be set for a potentially large-scale revival of Alberta’s separatist movement.

In 2015 Alberta elected its first NDP government under Rachel Notley. Later that same year, Canada elected a Liberal government under the leadership of Justin Trudeau, the son of Alberta’s archenemy, Pierre Trudeau. Guided by a common “progressive” ideology, Notley and Trudeau formed an alliance of sorts, working together on their respective agendas, especially policies meant to address climate change.

With the goal of mitigating climate change, both the Alberta NDP government and the federal Liberal government implemented policies to restrict the development and export of Alberta’s oil and gas resources. In terms of progressive ideology, hamstringing Alberta’s main industry has been a deliberate and successful strategy. However, clouds are on the progressive horizon.

Recognizing the suicidal economic nature of the NDP government, most Albertans are desperate for change. The majority are currently looking to Jason Kenney and his United Conservative Party (UCP) to bring about that change by winning the provincial election in 2019.

Kenney is a staunch federalist. However, it is in his political interest to intensify conflict with Trudeau. Trudeau’s policies are harming Alberta, so it is reasonable to try to resist them strongly. In addition to that, though, it is well known that any Alberta premier can increase his or her own popularity by fighting with the federal government. Various premiers have portrayed themselves as the “defender of Alberta” to generate support at home. Even Notley is now attempting to use this tactic, although unconvincingly.

A federal election is expected in 2019. Trudeau has a good chance of being reelected, but with even fewer MPs from Alberta than he has now. The Liberals won four Alberta seats in the election of 2015 but will hopefully lose all four in next year’s election.

In any case, with Jason Kenney as premier and Justin Trudeau as prime minister, tension will be high between Alberta and the federal government. Kenney will likely increase the tension through aggressive opposition to Trudeau’s carbon tax and other federal policies. The resulting conflict could eventually resemble that between Premier Peter Lougheed and Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

If this scenario occurs, it is likely that support for Alberta separatism will grow. Conflict between Alberta and the federal government tends to have that effect. However, Jason Kenney will not be able to accommodate separatist sentiment because of his strong federalist stance. Similarly, Derek Fildebrandt’s Freedom Conservative Party supports a “united Canada.” Therefore, a new organization will be needed to represent the concerns of patriotic Albertans who realize that independence is the only meaningful solution.

With this in mind, Alberta separatists should look towards the future with optimism and plan accordingly.

13 Comments

  1. Singapore will be a good example.How to separate from Canada.Population is pretty much the same.Booming economy. Fantastic medical care.I think,its call “Medisave”Education system compare with Canadian “Is joke”I have Korean friend>He said: What they teach at University in Calgary the is equal to High school in Korea/Singapore!!! He is electrical engineer.If Albertans put emotions on side.I will vote to leave knowing my kids will never economic hostage by Federal government!

    • We have Billions of reasons to Separate – and virtually none to remain. Anyone who thinks Alberta can continue almost single-handedly funding Canada’s Welfare State (and it will only get worse) but can’t manage to function as an Independent country needs to give his head a shake. Everything, from Education, to our Justice system, to Health Care, to Pension income – everything will be better in Alberta than it is now in Canada. With the added bonus of getting our Honor and Dignity back!

    • I totally agree! By separating from Canada, Alberta will have a chance to redevelop its educational system which already better than most other province’s.

  2. Jason Kenney will win, so separatists should work with what they have. Even Kenney agrees that Alberta needs a new deal with Canada. Kenney can be talked into a 1980 style Quebec referendum – where the province is asking for power to negotiate a new deal with Canada – up to and including separation. The referendum would also require a subsequent referendum to actually separate. Although Kenney may not want to separate, this hammer is required for negotiations to be taken seriously. It would be how Trudeau negotiates next that could really add the fuel to the separatist fire.

    • The ONLY way to Separate is to Separate. You need a provincial Party that runs on that platform – you can’t very well avoid the issue during a campaign and then spring it on the voters after an election. Then once that Party forms gov’t they immediately sponsor a Referendum. If you get a clear majority (probably 52, 53%) voting to Separate you can start immediate negotiations with Canada to make secession happen. This is neatly defined in the Clarity Act of 2000.

    • Jason Kenney has had 25 years in federal politics to change Alberta’s situation in Canada and has done nothing – only managed to make things worse. Surely we can’t imagine that changing now. Mr. Kenney is a very “good” (good at getting and staying elected) politician. What we at Alberta Freedom Alliance are looking for now are not “good” politicians but good Alberta men and women who will put the interests of Alberta and our people first and foremost. Kenney’s “equalization referendum” is an example of the “finger to the wind” politics that he navigates really well. The wind is blowing in the direction of Alberta alienation right now. Normally he would have ignored it but because it is so strong he had to make it look like he cares. But, because he is a federalist, “not a separatist” – he has told us that – he won’t talk about advancing the notion of Alberta Independence so the next best thing is a meaningless, wasteful referendum on Equalization. This is not honest politics, but it will work for people who simply take political promises at face value and assume they are real committments, even when we know from decades of experience that they are not. I refer you to the saying: Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

  3. If you want to wait for a separation party to win power – I think you have a long wait. I am not saying that your campaigning is not worthwhile, but I am saying that you have to work with the situation that you have now. After the NDP mistake, there is not way the UPC won’t win. Within that reality, you must use your influence to push Kenney and at the same time increase support for separatism.
    They key is to leverage the power and resentment that exists now. After Kenney wins, he needs to be convinced to negotiate a better deal with Canada (that part shouldn’t be that hard). To give him maximum leverage, a referendum needs to be called (likely early 2020) that gives Kenney full power for these negotiations, and to negotiate anything from minor changes to full separation – the larger the mandate for the negotiations, the better his negotiation power. This referendum would require another referendum if separation is the option (ensuring it’s passage against a still somewhat reluctant population). The first referendum gets Albertans to start thinking that true separation is possible. When the Rest-of-Canada ridicules Alberta and negotiates in bad faith (as she did with the NAFTA negotiations), then an outraged Alberta would be conducive to the final separation vote (maybe in early 2022).
    There will never be a more antagonistic PM in power than we have now. You want to make sure that some progress towards separation is made, and not just waiting until separatists get power. The 1st referendum is the 1st step. With Trudeau’s continued antagonism, the second referendum could be a reality.
    There will also never be a more inept PM in power than we have now, so you want ensure that a separation vote could be held in the next mandate (both Trudeau’s and Kenney mandates almost overlap) and negotiations could be held with the proven incompetent Trudeau government.

    • You underestimate the simmering anger and resentment in Alberta. Kenney will win, as will Trudeau. These outcomes are fait accompli. Trudeau will form a majority government likely without a single seat in Alberta or Saskatchewan. Kenney will do what Kenney does, posturing and playing the role of our great defender. It will do nothing to improve out economic situation, we will continue along the path we’ve been travelling since 2015. But being as narcissistic as they are, the Liberals will eventually develop a signature policy so as to define the great moment in Canadian history that was Trudeau 2.1. It will be environmental in nature, perhaps a greatly accelerated emissions reduction, or they may even be bold enough to go with a full ban on new fossil fuel development. After all, what have they got to lose? They don’t need our votes. That’ll be the point where we hit our clear majority. When that point is reached we won’t need the likes of AFA, sadly. Because any party in Alberta with the intent to form government in 2023 will include a referendum in their platform.

  4. Good luck people…i hope you get out ASAP before Quebec takes even more…they will never stop. They have been milking the country dry since Trudeau #1 was in power…they have stolen over 400 billion dollars from Alberta (they call it equalization) legal theft…they lie, cheat about everything…beyond corrupt…oh and do they say thanks? Try decades of banning our language with racist, bigoted language laws (bills 22, 178, 101…) while forcing the french all over all over the country, read bilingualism (code for french)…they are the crooked scum of the North America…take, take, take…its the french way…inside and outside of quebec…

  5. Hello everyone, I think its time to join a noble cause, and join Saskatchewan in telling our Crime-minisiter and thief ” Justin Trudeau and seriously separate from Canada. Just like how Justin Trudeau dad destroyed Alberta’s economy in the 1970’s with his energy program, the apple does not fall far from the tree. Our present Priminisiter has done the same thing, in seeing that Alberta threat is held under his thumb by saying one thing about the pipeline we want built. But doing everything his office can do to stop it. Enough is enough.
    Just recently with the SC Lavilin scandal, he’s protecting his ass, by influencing the Canadian justice system so that he can get re-elected. He’s worried about the 9000 votes, oop’s I mean jobs, but not about the 250,000 jobs in the oil sector of Alberta.
    Im all for separation, lets do it

    • Our “revolution” is a peaceful one so the only way we can legally seceed from Canada is with a provincial referendum that endorses separation. (Clarity Act 2000). Once each separate province decides to separate, it would be great if the western provinces negotiated and agreed to a merger to form a new country. Just think what a strong, rich country we would be. I hate to think of the shell that would be left in the East.

  6. Albertan’s need to know that a growing support for succession from Canada will get them more then playing the same old game. Canada will not take Alberta’s concerns seriously until there is a real and present threat of this happening. If this is to be achieved then we have to do more this just throw out the idea of seperatism. There needs to be a well thought out plan as to how this would evolve.
    This plan must be must be carefully devised so that it has the potential of realistically succeeding in such a way as to be more benifical than remaining within Canada.
    Thinking that other provinces would join this movement is great wishful thinking. But is it realistic. It is hard for a grass roots party be get serious consideration if it is sidelined by people that want to use it to be an adgenda for religous or other personal social adjendas. You see these issues in the establised political parties and how it is used by other parties to create conflict that only results in mud slinging.
    To put this together be thoughtful. Don’t bring in battles on social issues that they can and will use to brand the party as a bunch of crazies. If this is to gain a foothold it to be a serious contender

    • Thank you for this very thoughtful and reasonable comment, Gary. All of these concerns and more have been contemplated by our movement. We agree that bringing other provinces into our Independence movement is counter-productive. This will occur organically if it is to occur at all. And besides, it is only Alberta that can capture the conscience of the nation because of our unique circumstances of having paid so heavily to economically support the rest of Canada. We get many emails from all over Canada telling us how they understand and empathize, even support, our desire to Separate. As for including social issues ~ I also agree. These other issues are simply distractions from the main agenda – Independence. After all, it will be all Albertans, even those who did not support a Secession Referendum, who will decide about the political and economic policies of the New Nation, not just those who are spearheading the original movement. All in all, you have hit on several pertinent issues that are important to an Independence movement. My motto: Keep your eye on the prize. Independence is what we are fighting for and we want everyone, regardless of political ideology, to buy into this serious and challenging goal.

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