A gentleman made comment on a Facebook post regarding Brett Wilson and his take on Trudeau and how the West is treated. His comment was,”Who is in charge of separating into a western Canada?”
A great question indeed! But is there an answer? Sadly, at present the answer is still nobody.
Still? Yes, still.
There are many notable names in the separatist realm; among the more notable are Larry Smith, Neil Fenske, Jake Wall, Jean Truffaut and a host of others. All are committed and sincere in their belief that the West should, and dare I say must, become independent of the lunatic asylum called Canada in order to ensure a secure future for all future Westerners. From my perch, it appears that where they often differ is in the mechanics of independence. Each has their own approach and tends to emphasize the differences in approach rather than the commonality of cause.This is, to say the least, the worst possible way to run a movement or advance a cause. Why, you might ask? Because, perception is everything. How can a solid idea like Western Independence impress the common person if all they see is division within the ranks?
When Preston Manning declared, “The West Wants In”, he was a singular voice. And although there were likely differing opinions on how things should go, in public they sang the same tune. In a past post I asked, “Where is our Moses?”. I would settle for a Preston.
Ah, but now dear reader, you’re probably asking, “Why doesn’t the Polite Separatist put his money where his mouth is and jump to the forefront? Well, there are a few reasons… First, at my age I don’t have the energy or stamina to do it. Second, due to past injuries, my physical condition precludes it. Third, as a young man I was a bit on the wild side and can’t draw on my Boy Scout history for inspiration. And lastly, and perhaps most importantly, I have a face made for radio and print. The last point explains the posts. We do what we can do, but the point is that we do!
So where does that leave us? As we are stuck dealing with arguably the most one-sided, regressive legislation ever to grace the law books of Canada, the Clarity Act, a law more fitting the Venezuelan dictator Maduro than a modern parliamentary democracy like Canada; we have little choice other than individual provincial referendums. But beyond that there must be a larger body that can speak for all groups in all Western provinces. In my estimation, it would have these aims:
1. To promote Independence in all Western provinces with emphasis on the common, national issues such as poor representation in government, regressive legislation, the attitudes of the east towards the West,the history of theft of Western resources, etc.
2. Education of the Western peoples. There is still a commonly held belief that Canada will draw all money from the West and shut us down should we dare to separate or even try! Dispel the idea that independence would happen in seconds when in actual fact it would take years, in the short term nothing changes! Call out the fear mongers and challenge the propaganda.
3. Support each provincial sub group. Yes, sub group.Because the whole must stand with each part and the whole cannot be done alone. I would submit that the end game must be viewed as the goal with each provincial referendum a part of the endgame. One group per province following a National master plan and direction.This will reduce and hopefully eliminate grudge matches and turf wars.
4. Allocate resources and people to where it can make the most difference. A national group would be comprised of members from all Western provinces. In fact, it would be a nucleus for a future government!
5. Speak on the national stage. Pretty self explanatory.
Of course there are more things involved but the idea remains, a central entity and voice to coordinate the provincial efforts. Note that the Partie Quebecois has representatives throughout Quebec, but when it comes time to speak to the media there is one voice. The same can be said for provincial parties of all stripes. It’s called discipline. One cannot always agree with how things are done but to keep the goal going forward there has to be a singularity of purpose.
Recent polls state that some 76% of Western Canadians feel that there is a “unique Western Canadian identity”, that’s 3 out of four. According to Angus Reid, two thirds of Western Canadians oppose the Carbon Tax. And while most Canadians 65 or older feel a “deep attachment”to Canada; this shrinks to less than half (45%) in the 18-24 bracket. That elder group is aging and dwindling; making the younger demographic the ones to convince. Why isn’t this part of planning for independence?
Lastly, let me take my crystal ball out and give it a read…
Independence will never, ever happen….NEVER. Unless steps are taken to make it a credible united force. I’m not sure that this will occur given the present circumstances and players. Time to bury hatchets, make up, look for common objectives, plan and support each other.
Of course we can always continue to grit our teeth and complain on face book. It’s like peeing yourself in a dark suit, feels good and warm but nobody notices.
And that’s why Western separatists are not taken seriously, even by Westerners.
4 thoughts on “Well….nobody”
I was born and raised in Sask. (Farm) and my parents spent all their retirement years in Calgary. My brother and sister and their families both live in Alberta. I have relatives in Alberta, Sask , Manitoba I have a strong afinity for the West. I however have spent 20 years in the RCAF ; having been posted to CFB Cold lake for 1 tour. Most of my life has been spent in Ontario (where I currently live), New Brunswick & US.(On exchange duty.)
I believe that the only way to address Western issues is to bring about a constitutional crisis by getting a Western movement to the Referendum stage for separation. Anything less would not achieve any results except pacification until the next major oil or immigration issue; or democracy issue arises. The basic issue is that there is no current way to affect Federal policy , for example under the current liberals, by the West. The views of the worker and views of West representatives are ignored by the East voting blocks in the Federal Government. Under a majority government is the British Parliamentary system; the PM and PCO has total power to do what they want even if it is counter to what the “people” want. In this mode; majority governments are in effect dictatorial; until an election changes the “majority”. Because of the population imbalance bwith Ontario/Quebec and Maritimes; the West is continually at an unacceptable disadvantage. I believe it is the best path forward to have a “West” separation vs an Alberta separation; for several reasons including economic.Your outline on way ahead; makes sense. What is lacking to bring the movement to fruition is a leader that everyone out West can get behind. One such person is Brad Wall. The issue is simple – would he be willing to take up the challenge? I suggest he should be asked by the Provincial Premiers (not Notley); and a citizens ‘Draft Wall” movement.As you mentioned,the process would take 2-3 years to bring about a “separation of the West”. None of the Premiers should consider being the West leader as they have their hands full running their provinces. I think that the WEST movement should not become a political party but a Western Patriots Independence Movement. A movement like this is essential to get significant change within confederation or outside of it.Even within Confederation; their needs to be a West Block to counterbalance the Quebec/Ontario/ Maritimes voting blocks. Within Constitutional talks, historically, there are too many “Provincial ” viewpoints and political infighting. A West block is required even if there is no successful “separation” You could start with an organization to speak for the West; working with the Premiers. For example if the West is going to get a change to equalization formula (there should not be any equalization – period.) Brad Wall could do this extremely well as he has the leadership capability and is respected by all Canadians; especially the out West.
You obviously understand how the Clarity Act works and thus the road to independence for each province. Albertans would have the strongest feeling of being a ‘distinct society’ or of the West being a distinct society followed closely by Saskatchewanites. That would fall off in Manitoba but still reasonably strong support for a distinct western society. However in BC, that distinct society feeling is split. The interior of BC could have affinity for a western society centered in the prairies. In the lower mainland and on the island any feeling of a distinct society would be held by the elitists on the left. That of course is just their arrogance of thinking they’re better than everybody else and their disdain would absolutely include the aforementioned western society (red-necks) .
So how does a group trying to coordinate a unified position for a western nation merge the disparate societies? I’ve been trying to formulate some ideas around how a Union of Western Canada might come to be. Suppose that Alberta and Saskatchewan achieved positive referendums on Independence and then Manitoba followed suit to join the party. It is still unlikely that any group in BC could even force a referendum never mind win one.
I think one way might be to describe this Union of Western Canada not as a nation itself but something more akin to the European Union where each of the four provinces is still a separate nation that only unite to have agreement on economic issues. Still lots of logistical thinking needed to better understand if and how this might work.
Thanks for your input. I think there are several approaches to answer your concerns. First, I do agree with your thoughts on Manitoba and BC. Manitoba has always been on the cusp of being a “hard luck” case in that they qualify for equalization but not enough for it to be substantial. Add to that the location being on the border with Ontario makes it a difficult position to be in. However it would help things if the movement would make the case for being part of a new country rather than a lonely child of Canada, not really part but not really apart. Manitoba has access to Hudson’s Bay thereby giving Western Canada a sea to sea presence and access to world markets at least part of the year.
BC is a slightly different case but in the end, similar to Manitoba. The only real opposition to independence is in the the Greater Vancouver area and lower Vancouver Island including Victoria. As it would be a tumultuous time, a most likely scenario would be that the northern and eastern parts of BC would insist on joining the new country as the benefits are staggering to places like Prince George, Prince Rupert, Kittimat, Smithers, the Okanagan and others. This would leave a condition where a comparatively small area would be calling the shots for a province. I don’t think BC would have much choice other than to let it go lest they risk an insurrection. Canada would be busy dealing with our independence and would not have the resources nor inclination to intervene. That would leave Vancouver and Victoria the only part of Canada on the west coast, not an enviable position. I would submit that within a measurable period they would join as well.
Now, how to make things palatable to all, and there is the biggest problem. Bear in mind that independence is not a one-shot overnight thing. Everything from what side of the road we drive to foreign affairs to how we make laws and enforce them all have to be drawn up and negotiated between Canada, Western Canada and its constituent parts, whatever form they take (provinces, states, etc.). This process will likely take about five years, maybe more. In the meantime the changes would be slow, starting with no changes to one day you trade in your driver’s license and plates, a while later you notice the dollar has changed, so on and so on. During this extended period social standards and services are also addressed.
Here comes the most important part. In order to do this a central organization needs to be established with a leader who coordinates all the provinces efforts and deals with the media. Most importantly, that organization must reach out and educate people. Convincing is a big job.
As to what the end might look like? Please click on the black bar below my title header marked “A Better Way”. I spent months researching this and authored a discussion paper on the subject with my take on it.
Again, thank you for your input, it really helps as it tells me what people are thinking, and more and more people are thinking independence!
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