Alberta needs a fair deal from our federation, and it is my honour to be granted the opportunity to fight for it.
The past two months I have written to you with a lack of national unity and how a deserving Alberta can properly fit back in to greater Canada weighing heavily on my heart. Prior to the federal election, our United Conservative provincial government proactively undertook the task of legislating a self-reliant Alberta to the best of our ability, so as to fireproof ourselves regardless of what election results were to be realized. We repealed the carbon tax, took measures to incentive Alberta-based job creation, and filed a constitutional challenge against the no-more-pipelines Bill C-69. Still, our recent polling numbers indicate that roughly 30% of Albertans across the province of all ages, genders, geographic locations, and backgrounds support separation. Further, upwards of 75% of Albertans identify as sympathizers of separatist sentiment. While myself and my government remain committed to Canada, this strong alienation and frustration that many are feeling across our province cannot be ignored. This alienation and frustration that we are feeling is completely and entirely warranted. As Albertans – we do deserve better within this Federation. And we deserve it now.
That is why I am incredibly honoured to have been recently appointed to Alberta’s Fair Deal Panel by our Premier, Jason Kenney. I will be one of only three government MLAs chosen to sit on the Panel and have the honour of working alongside greats like including Preston Manning and Donna Kennedy- Glans as we discuss and strategize this government’s next steps towards building a formidable Alberta.
For the next three months our Panel will travel across Alberta and host what will likely be widely attended townhalls to discuss the merits and public interest of the many ideas contained in the 2001 firewall letter, including but not limited to: collecting our own taxes, creating a provincial pension plan, establishing a provincial police force, appointing a Chief Firearms Officer, enshrining our own Albertan Constitution, and equalization reform. At the completion of the tour, our Panel will then author an extensive report detailing our findings and recommendations of how Alberta shall proceed on our path to independence and prosperity within Canada.
Our government and the many Albertans we represent have had enough with Ottawa’s absolute indifference towards our adversity, and enough with Ottawa’s ambivalence towards our world-leading energy and agricultural industries. With the formation of this Panel, our United Conservative Government is promising you that we are committed to bold action backed by extensive public consultation. The times where our province is forced to sit idly by and let the rest of Canada decide our fate are over. It is time we take matters into our own hands and build an Alberta – and a Canada – that works for everyone, not just those living on the other coast. It is my honour to be one of the few spearheading the charge.
Townhalls will be scheduled for Calgary, Edmonton, Lloydminster, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat, Grande Prairie, and Red Deer. Additional meetings in rural communities will be also announced in the coming weeks.