I’ve taken most of 2018 focusing on my family and my volunteer commitments in the Calgary target shooting community (please check out my gun blog: 3GunCalgary.com).
My 3rd daughter is developmentally disabled and she has all the symptoms of an autistic child, and supporting her and my wife has led me to put extra activities (especially political blogging) on the sidelines.
This time off however, has given me time to reflect on the matter of Alberta Separatism and on what it means to be Canadian.
Were Canadian identity just a matter of economics, it would be an open and close matter. As I have blogged in the past, there is no downside risk to Alberta separating from Canada and the economics alone make a very compelling argument for Alberta to leave.
Let’s say we were to hold a clear referendum with majority support for secession and all efforts by the Canadian Federal government fail to overturn the results.
In this scenario the entirety of Canada dissolves into independent dominions, akin to the Dominion of Newfoundland before joining Canadian confederation.
Maybe those Dominions will form into minor confederations of their own (such as a “Prairie Confederation” of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, or an “Atlantic Confederation” of all the Maritime provinces).
Maybe entire provinces, such as B.C, Ontario and Quebec will form their own dominion.
The Territories probably will remain under the jurisdiction of the current Federal government.
Regardless, Inter-Dominion trade wars will emerge, as market access reliant on land connections become contentious as the individual dominions assert their sovereignty over their own dominion’s borders.
Because of economic integration with the United States, those inter-dominion trade conflicts will be low intensity, with the preferred resolution being to redirect commerce southwards to the United States.
This then would trigger a game of chicken, as without exception (including all the dominions with tidewater access, as none of them would possess a blue water navy) all the independent “Canadian” dominions would have no reason to remain independent and have every reason to pursue American statehood.
That is the probable endgame of Alberta Separatism.
Some or all of the former Canadian provinces (including Alberta itself) joining the United States.
Personally, I can’t envision any plausible scenario wherein my lifetime (or the lifetime of my children and their children) that the United States is anything other than the dominant, exclusive global superpower.
It might not be such a bad thing to be an American.
But this is all based on economics, for which the case for Separatism is obvious.
Alberta would benefit mightily if it separated and joined the US (and the US would become the unquestioned global superpower for easily 2 or more centuries).
Justin Trudeau famously said “Canada has no core identity,” and while many of his opponents, including many Separatists took offence to this, he was generally correct.
He was correct in that there is no core “Canadian” experience – life in the Prairies is completely different from life in the West coast, which is completely different from the interior of BC, which is completely different from the Rockies, which is completely different from the Shieldlands, which is completely different from the Great Lakes, which is completely different from the Maritimes, which is completely different from the North.
One unifying exception though is that everywhere in Canada, your livelihood probably very closely depends on commerce and good relations with the United States.
If you are serious about Alberta Separatism, you have to be serious about becoming American.
Personally, I don’t have any animosity or resentment towards America or Americans.
I love traveling to the States.
I work, in Calgary, for an American company and that work provides for my family.
I love American culture and history.
But those last two points are particularly important because while Trudeau may think Canadians have no “core identity” we do actually have a profound core culture and history.
One in fact that may counter the obvious economic argument in favour of Alberta’s separating.
But that is a post for another time.