I attended a conference in Red Deer on Nov. 15 – 16 that was organized by the Economic Education Association.
There were over 360 participants at this conference and the theme was Meeting The Unity Challenge.
We had presentations from over 20 different speakers.
I think the objective of the conference was to thoroughly examine the pros and cons of Alberta separating from confederation.
I think many others came away convinced, as I indicated in a previous column, that separation is neither a practical or pragmatic solution.
The process would take at least a generation to accomplish.
One of the speakers explained the process that Quebec went through to try and secede from Canada. They worked for 27 years and held two referendums but were still unsuccessful.
I think the elephant in the room for Alberta is climate change.
The real reason that there is so much resistance to the development of our oil and gas resources is this flawed idea that the cause of climate change is C02 emissions.
Many of the presentations by the speakers were on the topic of climate change.
The mainstream media, environmentalists and various government spokesmen are trying to convince everyone that if we continue to consume fossil fuel we will have a climatic catastrophe.
It was quite clear from what we were told that no such thing is going to happen, in fact, there has been no real warming for the past 17 years.
One of our keynote speakers was Patrick Moore, originally a key figure with Green Peace, who quit when he discovered that the organization was a propaganda mouthpiece for the left and not about science.
He showed us graphs from scientific research that clearly showed us that the climate has been much warmer in the past than it is now.
The medieval warm period before the little ice age was much warmer and a few thousand years before that during the Egyptian empire it was even warmer.
In fact, the earth is actually quite cool right now.
Alberta could become quite independent without separation.
Premier Jason Kenny is on the right track. We need to provide more of our own services as Quebec is doing.
He has put a committee together, headed by Preston Manning to look at the possibility of developing our own police force, our own pension plan, establishing a provincial revenue agency and establishing an Alberta constitution.
These policy changes may or may not be a financial benefit to Alberta but the real objective is to get Ottawa to have as much respect for Alberta as it does for Quebec.
The problem we have had in Western Canada is that Eastern Canada has always had the political view that it was fair ball for the West to be exploited for the benefit of the East.
A good example is the unemployment insurance program.
It has been rigged so that the majority of the premiums are paid by the people with a work ethic in the West for the benefit of many in the East who have become used to collecting insurance for most of the year on an annual basis.
Alberta and Saskatchewan have to find a way to be a real thorn in the side of the East until they wake up and find out that we matter.
They pay world price for oil coming from despot countries and do not require them to have the same environmental protocols as they demand from oil that is produced in Canada.
As well, due our inability to access world markets, Canadian produced oil is sold at a severely discounted price.
It is no wonder that many in the West think the answer is to get out!
by Herman Schwenk