Alberta and Saskatchewan joined confederation at the exact same time (1905).
The region Prior to both provinces had been a set of independent districts of the North West Territories.
The Eastern Canadian elites created Alberta and Saskatchewan as separate provinces because they were concerned one day the people in that region might challenge their economic and political authority.
Today 110 years later, while provincial separation is legal, it will be a challenge convincing average Albertans or Saskatchewanians to buy into it. Most people don’t understand the exploitative history or bleak future of Canadian confederation (yet).
I am of the opinion that only when we are living through a socio-economic depression GREATER than the 1930’s Depression will there be popular support for separation. Tangentially, I believe this will happen sometime in the next decade.
That said a less radical possibility than separation is a merger of Alberta and Saskatchewan as a singular province within Canada.
Culturally, economically, and politically – we have a great deal in common and united, we could eliminate many of the unproductive, inter-provincial politics that lets Ottawa and the Eastern Canadian financial power brokers walk all over us.
Moreover, to members of our local community who would oppose the idea of outright separation from Canada – a merger within Canada would be MUCH more palatable.
“Newfoundland and Labrador” is a single Canadian province. Why couldn’t “Alberta and Saskatchewan” be one as well?
Moreover, united as a single province in Canada, Alberta and Saskatchewan together still would have the ability to separate from Canada if the situation became so dire.
A merger between Alberta and Saskatchewan has tremendous economic incentive.
While the combined population of 5.3 million citizens would still be unable to outvote the Ontario/Quebec coalition, by having a single united province we would have an unprecedented economic advantage that could see us very rapidly change our demography.
The problem with Alberta and Saskatchewan as separate provinces is it adds uncertainty and inefficiency. Both of our provinces have tremendous resources, especially energy, but require foreign investment to be able to exploit those resources.
Moreover, by having separate provincial governments, it is very difficult to efficiently develop infrastructure that spans both provinces that is necessary to transport our products to market.
Similarly, a major detractor of our industries’ scalability and competitiveness is differences in tax, regulatory, and royalty structure between our two provinces for the same industries.
Businesses that wish to invest in an industry (like energy) that spans both our provinces must comply with two sets of regulations from two governments – adding significant overhead to operations. Especially in the oil and gas industry, where prices are already volatile, cost saving measures are literally life and death for our economies.
From a political perspective, there is also a distinct advantage. Because of our common economic composition, having a single government for both our provinces would mean our elected leaders could have a single, cohesive voice in support of our industries.
Consider the current situation, where in negotiating pipelines with the Americans, we have pro-industry Saskatchewan Premiere Brad Wall, and anti-industry Alberta premier Rachael Notely. The in-cohesive message between the two greatly weakens the strength of either premiers position while adding tremendous leverage to the Americans.
Lastly, as is evident in Alberta, but also clearly established in Canadian history, everywhere an NDP provincial government is elected, they eviscerate the provincial economy with crippling socialist policy. With Alberta’s recent election of the NDP, the die has been cast in the foreign investment world that nowhere in Canada is safe for their capital.
While a merger between the two provinces does not eliminate the possibility of an NDP takeover, at the very least it eliminates the prospect of entire industries being cut in half because the provincial government in one provinces makes a violent transition to the sweet seductress of socialism.
Together, Saskatchewan and Alberta COULD become an economic power that could change the balance of power within Canada that favors the East at the West’s expense.
People always migrate to where there’s opportunity and a merger of Alberta and Saskatchewan would create tremendous opportunity which, in turn, would give us much more political influence within Canada.