Are We Better Off?

I found this old article and found it worth placement in my blog. I hope, dear reader, that you consider how little has changed in the 34 years since it was written and what it says about Canada.

 Following is an excerpt from an article written by Ted Byfield, and published in the Edmonton Sun on September 2, 1984:


 “Like Alberta, B.C. is a resource producing province. The source of its wealth and prosperity is obvious to a school child. As the pulp, paper and lumber markets go, as the coal markets go, as the fishing season and market go, as Prairie grain goes, so goes B.C. Just as grain, gas and oil will decide the present and future of Calgary and Edmonton.

Now the point is that the federal government intrudes itself into the economics of these fields more decisively than any other factor. The feds negotiate the tariffs, the feds (since Trudeau any way) set the gas and oil prices; the feds sell the grain; the feds regulate the fishery; the feds control transport on both railways and harbors. In other words, whether the resource regions live, breathe and eat depends largely on the feds. But and here is the point the federal politicians in no sense whatever depend upon the resource regions. They are elected by, and they therefore understandably serve, the populous consumer region of central Canada, the region that elects them.

 And the people in this region neither know nor care about the production and marketing of natural resources. Can the Toronto factory worker be expected to concern himself intimately with the fishing limits on the B.C. coast? Can an insurance actuary in London, Ont., be expected to worry about the Crow Rate? Is a Windsor automobile worker likely to vote on the basis of natural gas or newsprint exports? Hardly.

 However, his concern can be aroused detrimentally. Promise him Alberta oil at half price and he’ll go for it. Tell him you’ll restrict the importation of Japanese cars and the only cost maybe a cut back in Japanese imports of Saskatchewan grain or B.C. coal, but what does he care about that? And it is his vote, not that of the Kelowna fruit grower, with which Misters Turner, Mulroney and Broadbent must concern themselves because there are so many more of him than there are of us.

 The fact is increasingly known and appreciated in British Columbia as it is in Alberta. And unless the foreseeable Mulroney government somehow contends with it, other than by talk, the division of East from West is merely a matter of time.”

 So ask yourself and others in your midst, what has changed? Are we better off than we were 34 years ago? The mainstream media and the Liberal Party apparatchik that is the CBC and Toronto Star declared Western separatism dead with the election of another Trudeau. Were they right? And if they were right, what does it say about how the West is regarded?

The Prairie Freedom Alliance Party

Possibly the most disparaging thing in what is today’s Western independence movement is the sheer number of groups supposedly espousing the same thing. However a closer inspection of these groups usually separates the wheat from the chaff. Many groups are simply sounding posts for the angry people in our milieu who want to vent about pet peeves, dislikes, aggravations and in the extreme, concerns about the makeup of our society. Although there are a large number of people liking these groups on Facebook and other social media, by my count a total of some 40+ thousand, they are widely dispersed and in many cases belong to more than one group thus making counting an inexact thing indeed.

This is a cause for concern on our part and a cause for laughter for the eastern elites that have held our reigns for some 100 years or more. A cause that cannot count on unity of purpose is bound to fail and perhaps this, more than anything else, is why Western separatists have not made inroads. Failure is the result of not being able to lay out the reasons why independence is desirable and how it can be achieved with one voice.
After being a spectator of these phenomena for some time and writing about it in the blog, the Polite Separatist has come to some conclusions that may not be palatable to all, but then reality rarely is.


Perhaps the most important thing that affects all groups, sentiment, ideas, and hopes is the federal Clarity Act. Everything must be centered on this document. Why? Because it will determine if the independence of a province is even permitted to occur. Each province must win a referendum on independence with a clear majority (generally set at 60+%). Anything less is a no-go.
This negates the attempts to somehow create an all encompassing federal entity that crosses the Western provinces. See how successful the Bloc Quebecois was? Therefore any broad minded approach must start with the place with the highest chance of success. Where? Saskatchewan.

Why Saskatchewan?

Several reasons. First is population, with a population of 1.13 million compared to 4.14 for Alberta and 4.6 for BC, Saskatchewan is, to be frank, an easier task to manage. Also, the provincial capital, Regina, numbers 242 thousand, the largest city, Saskatoon at 300 thousand also manageable.
Second is location. An independent Saskatchewan would act as a neat divider in Canada. Canada would now face trade tariffs when getting wealth out of Alberta and BC. Conversely, Alberta and BC would be set apart from the rest of the country making their position somewhat precarious in confederation. They would be faced with a choice, follow or be ruled by a now foreign government that expects cash and resources to continue to flow. This with very little influence or vote value in the country’s affairs.
Third is organizational. The requirements to form a political party in Saskatchewan are less restrictive than in Alberta or BC. A well supported effort should have a reasonable chance of success.

Who then in Saskatchewan?

In my opinion, and for the reasons stated above, the Prairie Freedom Alliance Party has the right idea and is taking steps required to succeed. After discussing the party and its ambitions with co-founder Jake Wall, I have to say that their chances appear to be most viable of all the groups on social media. You can contact them at:

What’s the difference between PFAP and other groups? People have an opportunity to support what they say they want. It’s an unfortunate fact of life that at some point one has to do more than hit “Like”. If you’re serious, just do it.

They can be found on Facebook too by searching for Prairie Freedom Alliance Party.

Do it.