An Albertan’s letter to voters in Ontario and Quebec
Letter to the Editor, October 18, 2019
Dear Ontario and Quebec voters,
On the eve of our Canadian Federal Election, I feel it is prudent to share with our fellow Canadians in the East how pivotal this election is for our Country.
I recognize a strong disconnect between the regions and believe I have a responsibility to share our feelings, perceptions, and fears with the men and women of these provinces.
It is no secret that the election is decided before the first vote is counted in Manitoba. 199 of the 338 seats in the House of Commons are held by your two provinces. Your votes decide our election.
This is why I am appealing to you. The fate of Canada and our incredible province of Alberta rests in your hands.
We’ve had a rough couple years out here. Since 2015 unemployment has soared, the price of our most valued resource has plummeted, and our access to foreign and domestic markets has been blocked by federal Liberals.
While this industry thrives south of the border in the US, Canada’s energy sector has been plunged into a ‘Legislated Recession’ thanks in part to the cancellation of 2 crucial pipelines and the poorly handled expansion of a third.
These projects are crucial, allowing access to foreign and domestic markets and closing the gap between the price of Canada’s oil and the oil produced elsewhere in the world.
The newly passed Bill C-69 makes new interprovincial projects nearly impossible to complete, and Bill C-48 restricts domestic tanker traffic on Canada’s West coast, while US tanker traffic navigates the same waters unimpeded. We’ve been put in a box, and the lid is slowly closing.
Our Federal Liberal government is the architect of this disaster.
You may ask why this should matter to you? It is simply a matter of economics. According to the Alberta government and World Bank websites, Alberta’s economy accounts for 20% of our Nation’s GDP. In this province of 4.7 million, it means that 11% of Canada’s population produces 20% of our GDP.
From 2000-2014, we contributed $200 Billion to equalization, all of it travelling East. On its own, Alberta is the 7th strongest economy on the planet.
We’re the core of this country’s economic engine. We’re being told our money is OK, but the oil, our largest economic driver is not. Hell, we can’t even wear our T-shirts on Parliament Hill.
Alberta’s oil is Canada’s oil, and there are a few facts I would like to share with you about it. We are at the forefront of the sector’s clean technology and everyone in this country should be proud of this industry and the highest environmental standards in the world.
During this election, I’m sure you’ve heard about O&G subsidies and how everyone intends on stopping them, so I feel it is important to break that down. Last year, there were $1.4 Billion dollars given to clean tech by our government. O&G received 75% of that. Rightfully so.
That money has been used to increase efficiency and reduce the carbon footprint of production significantly and created technology that has eliminated the need for contentious tailings ponds. A recent study showed that if every country around the world produced their resources to the same standard as Canada, the carbon intensity of production would drop 26% worldwide.
Suncor, Canada’s largest producer, just announced a co-gen project that will reduce their carbon footprint by a further 30%, and we’ve championed cutting-edge carbon capture and storage technology. We would love to displace dirty foreign oil in the East, but we are told there is no social acceptability for a pipeline.
We would love to know why there is social acceptability for Saudi tankers in your waters, but none for us? Last I checked, Saudi didn’t contribute to equalization.
The environment has been a big topic in this election, and there have been some strong assertions from the parties, some of which may be a little out of reach. 30% reduction in GHG, 60% reduction in GHG.
The backbone of these reductions focuses on shutting Alberta’s economy down. There seems to be a huge target on Alberta’s back, and little red dots are starting to dance around the bullseye.
Canada contributes 1.6% to the world’s total GHG emissions. China contributes 27.2%, US 14.6%. A 30-60% reduction in Canada equates to a 1.8-3.6% reduction in China and a 3.5-7 % reduction in the US.
Al Gore once said that CO2 knows no borders, so rather than shut down the economic engine of our nation, why wouldn’t we export the clean energy and technology to the countries that need it the most, boosting our economy and helping everyone on this planet reach these targets?
What we do as Canadians to reduce emissions means nothing on the grand world scale. It is these heavy emitting countries that could benefit from Canada’s LNG to replace coal, and cleantech to further drive down emissions. It’s a win-win-win for Canada, the environment, and our economy.
The Conservatives have proposed this and it has been highly criticized as ‘not enough’. This is the most viable solution and environmental policy for everyone in this country, and it doesn’t include plunging the entire country into debt and recession. It is ironic that the one country (US) that pulled out of the Paris Agreement has made the most progress reaching that agreement’s targets. How? By doing exactly what the Conservatives have proposed to help us and other nations achieve: transitioning coal to significantly cleaner natural gas power generation.
There is another sentiment out here that likely resonates with our fellow Canadians from Quebec. If you asked the average Albertan if they would support separation 2 years ago, you’d be laughed at. Today it is no laughing matter. At the time of the provincial election only a few months ago, it was estimated that 50% of Albertans were open to separation. A poll of 6000+ Albertans only a week ago yielded the same results. We’ve been beaten into submission by the federal Liberals, and we continue to get kicked. Terms like ‘Western Alienation’, ‘Republic of Alberta’ and ‘Wexit’ have become very common.
All too often you see ‘Liberal on Oct 21, Separatist on Oct 22’. This movement is real. I mean, REAL. If another Liberal government is elected, even worse a Liberal minority with the Green or NDP propping it up, Alberta’s energy sector will just board up the windows and go elsewhere. It will be crippling for the entire nation. It is ALREADY crippling for Alberta. We can’t take any more of this.
We are the victims of a current Legislated Recession and it will only get worse. Half of us want to leave now. More will want to leave if we continue to be exploited for our revenue and vilified for our industry.
Alberta separation would be a crushing blow to this country and its economy, but it doesn’t have to be this way. Albertans are resilient, wholesome, hard-working people that have been happy to help our fellow Canadian citizens maintain a high standard of living. We’re only asking for reciprocation.
We don’t want hand-outs, tax revenue, or power. We want the right and ability to do what we’ve been doing all along, without having fellow Canadians standing in our way. We’re a part of the solution, not the problem.
Fellow Canadians, please consider this when casting your ballot. There’s a lot at stake for everyone.
There is a fragility in this nation that could be fractured with the stroke of a pen, and the power rests firmly in the hands of your provinces. Vote wisely. Vote Canadian.
During a meeting in Ottawa, Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister gave some “friendly advice” to Justin Trudeau. Pallister told Trudeau that there was growing frustration in western Canada has towards Ottawa, according to the CBC.
In their meeting, the two leaders discussed a range of issues that came up during the election campaign. This included climate change and indigenous issues, as well as western alienation. Speaking to the CBC, Pallister stated that “there’s some great frustration with the lack of progress, not just on pipelines, but on other things.”
After the election, a deep frustration with Ottawa turned quickly into a separatist movement. This was blamed on the Liberal party, who due to a series of policy decisions, did not pick up a single seat in Alberta. Parts of British Columbia, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba have also been vocal in their frustration with Trudeau’s government.
Pallister was critical of Trudeau’s carbon tax and other policies designed to hinder the Canadian oil and gas sector. This has been a deeply contentious topic in the prairies, especially due to the recession that was triggered as a result of Trudeau’s pipeline bungle.
Unlike the Saskatchewan and Alberta premiers, Pallister has not threatened to rip up the equalization agreement.
In this recent federal election, a new election law came into place that punishes people who spread fake or misleading penalties with severe punishments, according to the CBC. During the election, and in the foreseeable future, anyone who publishes disinformation online will face up to five years in prison and a fine up to $50,000.
The one crux, however, was that the word “knowingly” was removed from the legislation, meaning that anyone who accidentally posts false information can be charged under Canada’s criminal code.
This applies to any post that disseminates false information about a candidate, a political party, or the leader of a political party. This law will likely be unfeasible to enforce as disinformation is shared so easily on social media.
These laws have been created in response to the incidents of foreign interference that have plagued western democracies over the past few years. In the United States, for example, allegations of Russian interference have taken up large portions of the national political debate.
This new election law has faced criticism for restricting free speech and being a dramatically heavy punishment for what shouldn’t necessarily be a crime.
“We didn’t see high levels of effective disinformation campaigns. We didn’t see evidence of effective bot networks in any of the major platforms. Yet we saw a lot of coverage of these things,” said Derek Ruths, a professor of computer science at McGill University in Montreal to the CBC a few weeks ago, in a story about how disinformation was overblown last election.
After years of Elizabeth May saying that she would never run outside of Nova Scotia, the Green Party Leader packed her bags and moved to Vancouver Island. The Green Party apparatus, in those days composed of hippies and homeopaths, believed vehemently that the island would be the epicentre of where a “green wave” would be triggered; the faultline of where their leader would change Canada forever.
Pundits happily bought into these prophecies. And so, for the next eleven years, the Canadian public was subjected to the shaky, crackpot premonitions of commentators and May. This wave never materialized, and now in 2019, May has resigned as the leader of the Green Party with the hope (God forbid) of becoming the speaker. In retrospect, it is perfectly obvious why the climate Christ never delivered on these expectations.
This becomes clear through a brief glance at the Green’s results. In 2008, for example, the Green party failed to win a single seat, despite winning their largest share of the popular vote. Or take 2011, where the Green’s vote was sliced in half, although this time the compost crusader actually managed to win her seat. The only “breakthrough” that ever occurred was in 2019— for the first time ever, a Green MP was elected east of the Rockies, 13 years after May first became leader.
May, naturally, celebrated the results of the 2019 election in the style of Justin Trudeau: jubilant and utterly lacking in any circumspection. The other Green MPs were refreshingly contrite. Jennica Atwin, for instance, told The Post Millennial that she “was surprised more than anything else, I thought there were a few ridings that were guaranteed … it would have been nice to have a bigger caucus.”
Some point to the Green’s results as a symbol of May’s dogged determination. It is far more grounded, however, to dig up that rather overused cliche about madness: “trying the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.” At the very least, it is evidence of the party’s stagnation.
May’s failure is especially poignant when considering the background of the 2019 election. Hundreds of thousands of Canadians had marched on the streets of our cities to demand better environmental policy, and Greta Thunberg received deafening and entirely unscrutinized coverage. Even in the provinces of Saskatchewan and Manitoba, 30 percent of those asked stated that the environment was their top priority in the election.
In an age like this, it is remarkable that May’s Green Party failed to convert any significant number of these people into Green voters. May has naturally shrugged off responsibility for this, pointing the finger at our “unjust” electoral system. But surely, in one of the most environmentally conscious countries on the planet, the Green Party leader should have achieved more than three elected candidates.
The Green Party’s failure to capitalize on this lies squarely at the feet of their leader. May would have us believe that it is first-past-the-post that stunted the Green’s development, but it is difficult to blame the electoral system for the public’s total refusal to accept the Greens as a serious party.
Much of this derives from May’s willingness to accept candidates anywhere along the spectrum of dangerous to deranged. Take, for instance, her enthusiasm for allowing a holocaust denier to run twice for the party. Not one to relent, in 2019, May permitted a Quebecois separatist candidate to join the rank and file.
May’s outrageousness has also contributed to their reputation of wackiness. “Waging a war against wifi” and presenting 9/11 truther petitions to the House of Commons are hardly ways to endear yourself to the Canadian public.
Nevertheless, it is necessary to accept that May has contributed to the building of the environmentalist movement in Canada. Although, it has become overwhelmingly clear that the Greens would never cement themselves as a viable alternative so long as May was at the helm.
Canada’s Chief Electoral Officer Stéphane Perrault has ordered judicial recounts for three ridings, beginning this morning with an announcement for one in Port Moody–Coquitlam (British Columbia), where NDP candidate Bonita Zarrillo lost to Conservative candidate Nelly Shin by just 153 votes.
Under Elections Canada rules, automatic recounts are triggered when the winning candidate’s margin of victory equals 0.1 percent or less of the total votes cast.
In the case of Zarillo, who went to the B.C. courts to solicit a recount, the margin of separation between her and Shin was 0.2 percent of total ballots cast.
If the margin of victory is not 0.1 percent or less of total votes, candidates or voters can seek a recount by filing an affidavit before a judge. If the judge accepts the request, a recount must occur within four days.
Both court-ordered and Elections Canada recounts are considered “judicial.”
In La Belle Province, a pair of Bloc Québecois candidates have also gone to court to request recounts.
And according to Elections Canada, a judicial recount will also occur for the Hochelaga riding where Liberal candidate Soraya Martinez Ferrada beat Bloc challenger Simon Marchand by 328 votes, or 0.6 percent of total ballots cast.
A similar situation exists in the riding of Quebec, where Bloc candidate Christiane Gagnon has sought a judicial recount after losing to Liberal candidate Jean-Yves Duclos by just 325 votes.
Late this afternoon, Elections Canada announced third recount; this one for the disputed Quebec riding.