VICE news ran an interesting article explaining “How Justin Trudeau’s Carbon Tax Gambit Works.” In alluding to Pierre Elliot Trudeau’s actions in nationalizing Western Canadian, and especially Albertan resources, the author made a slight quip about separatism, but he failed to realize the significance of the new Western Canadian separatist movement.
He also highlighted how that: “Ironically for a Western showdown with a Trudeau, Alberta may be poised to come out on top.”
I vehemently disagree.
As I’ve written about in a previous article (Carbon Tax: The End of Canada), even though Trudeau markets his carbon tax as “revenue neutral,” the most basic mechanics of the carbon tax are obviously a regional wealth transfer from Western Canada to Eastern Canada.
When someone in Alberta buys groceries or manufactured goods from out of province, the Albertan pays the cost the carbon tax, but the provinces where that good was transported through keeps the revenue.
The same applies with all of our exports.
To ship our energy and agricultural products to market, we have no choice but to make use of carbon intensive transportation that we will pay the cost of the tax for but receive non of the revenues.
Trace the TransCanada Highways and CN Railways and you have a clear map of where all of our wealth is being transferred to.
Given that transportation of goods into and out from most of Western Canada require long routes dependent upon carbon intensive modes of transport, and especially given that Eastern Canada is one of the largest suppliers of manufactured goods to the West – the Carbon Tax is absolutely a wealth transfer from the West to the East.
Irrespective of all this, the VICE news story correctly highlighted the fact that Trudeau’s Carbon Tax will likely dismantle the right, both Provincially and Federally, especially in Alberta.
What they fail to address is the fact that such a massive wealth transfer will certainly adversely and negatively impact the economy of Western Canada, and especially Alberta.
Faced with this reality, two important developments are worth highlighting.
First, the inflows of out of province, Eastern migration will stop and reverse as the Western Canadian economy stagnates and crash. This means sustained support of Federalist and Socialist parties like the Liberal Party of Canada and provincial New Democrats will, in time, begin to wane.
Most of Western Canada, but especially Alberta, are very challenging places to live in and socialists do not tend to stick around when there is not enough of other people’s money to redistribute to themselves. Unfortunately, this is most certainly an assured consequence on Western Canada of the Trudeau Carbon Tax and spells a protracted period of economic pain for those of us for whom Western Canada is home.
Second, with the political right in the West both Federally and Provincially, thrown into complete disarray there will be much more opportunity for viable separatist movements to grow and establish themselves.
When one reflects on the history of Western Separatism, particularly in Alberta, what subdued and ultimately defeated Western Separatists was not the political left.
It was the political right.
Peter Lougheed, Ralph Klein, Brad Wall, Brian Jean and Stephen Harper especially exemplify this principle.
These men are inseparable from Western Canadian history.
They gave Westerner’s hope and a belief that may be a chance at equal partnership within Canadian Confederation.
They were or are all right wing, federalist politicians.
Underscoring their actions was a belief that the Western Provinces should be a part of Canada, and that Canada together was bigger than the sum of it’s individual parts.
Personally, I do not bemoan or belittle the accomplishments of each of them. I believe they were well meaning, did the best they could, and accomplished great things.
However, what is certain is that they were able to capitalize on the secessionist sentiments and doing so was a major contributor to their own political success.
They gave Westerners hope, but in the end succumbed to the bane of Canadian Federalism (sadly, I believe Brad Wall and Brian Jean will eventually as well).
Western Canada probably would have done much better had it separated under Pierre Elliot Trudeau, but conservative politicians were able to convince Westerners to stay in Canada.
Most certainly, in Western Canada we have made progress and things today are better off than they were.
However, we will never know how much better off we would have been had we separated when conservative federalist politicians ascended to power.
More importantly, there is no promise that the trend of progress will continue in the future.
If conservative politicians give Westerners hope there is a chance by remaining in Canada, it is my opinion things very likely will take a severe turn for the worse.
Unfortunately, this is the pain we in the West will likely have to endure before Separatism becomes viable and probable.
It is for this reason that as separatists, we have to accept the demise of the political right before our cause can seriously take root.
The various provincial Progressive Conservative Parties, the Wild Rose Party, the Saskatchewan Party, and especially the Conservative Party of Canada are all Federalist, conservative organizations.
They will only ever pander to the federalists. They will only ever offer false hope that Canada united is better off. They will only ever deceive Westerner’s into believing the lie that Canada should remain together as a united country
For this reason, as a separatist, I will be happy to see those organizations meet their end.