On Nov. 8, MLA Joseph Schow of Cardston-Siksika held a Justice for Alberta town hall meeting in Vulcan, AB.
The discussion centered around the frustration that Albertans have with the federal government and the barriers being placed in the way of Alberta’s economy.
Recent public opinion surveys suggest that as many as one third of Albertans support the concept of separating from the Canadian federation, and that three quarters of Albertans understand or sympathize with this sentiment.
Many Albertans who indicate support for federalism are demanding significant reforms that will allow the province to develop its resources, and play a larger role in the federation, commensurate with the size of its economy and contribution to the rest of Canada.
“Alberta has been by far the biggest contributing province to Canada in recent decades, and a huge engine for jobs and growth,” said Premier Jason Kenney on Nov. 9. “But governments that have profited from our resources, hard work, and generosity now seem determined to pin us down and block us in.”
“Albertans aren’t asking for a special deal. We’re just asking for a fair deal. And our government will do everything within our power to get it.”
MLA Schow decided that after the results of the Federal election, that public consultation on the issue should be addressed as soon as possible within the constituency.
Those in attendance had ideas on how to advance the province’s interests. They discussed creating an Alberta Pension Plan by withdrawing from the Canada Pension Plan and establishing a provincial police force by ending the Alberta Police Service Agreement with the Government of Canada.
Provincially, the government created The Fair Deal Panel, with a mandate to listen to Albertans and their ideas for Alberta’s future. The Panel should focus on ideas that would strengthen our province’s economic position, give us a bigger voice within Confederation, or increase provincial power over institutions and funding in areas of provincial jurisdiction.
The Panel will conduct public consultations between November 16 and January 30, 2019. A completed report will be given to the government on March 31, 2020.