Landlocked Alberta valuable to Canada

Dear Editor,

Whenever Albertan Independence (or the ‘s’ word) is uttered, a well-meaning ‘Canadian’ dismisses it as ‘unrealistic’ because Albertans are simply ‘landlocked’.

Whether out of ignorance or desperation, this ‘Canadian’ is hoping that you never look at a world map, read Canadian history and /or compare Albertan exports with the rest of the world.

And maybe they should try telling these ‘landlocked’ nations that they simply cannot be independent: Austria, Bolivia, Botswana, Czech Republic, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Zimbabwe, Switzerland and couple dozen others which are completely landlocked.

Historically, Canada needed the territory that present-day Albertans occupy.

John A. Macdonald said, “[The Americans] are resolved to do all they can, short of war, to get possession of our western territory, and we must take immediate and vigorous steps to counteract them.” (p.240 Canadian History for Dummies).

So the Canadian ‘Pacific’ Railway was built with generous promises of cash, Alberta lands, captive producers and consumers. Wow! Old John A. constructed Canada’s very own ‘colony’ – Alberta.

Canada needs Albertans’ land, location and resources to remain the country which you see today.

Without Albertan territory, south central Canada would lose their ‘independent access’ to B.C. and the Pacific Ocean.

At the same time, British Columbians would be cut-off from the rest of Canada and may also be willing to consider options outside of Canadian Confederation.

Also, remember that Canada’s Northwest Territories (NWT) only all-weather road access is through Alberta and BC.

And without ‘independent access’ through Alberta, south central Canada – and its remaining provinces – would have to negotiate – not just ‘appear’ to Albertans.

This is something that can only be done if we Albertans are willing to exercise our options –– at least five different combinations with our neighbours — outside of Canadian Confederation.

However, history and geography do not pay the bills. But here again, Alberta is more valuable to Canada than Canada is to Alberta.

The Fraser Institute reported that “between 2007 and 2015, Albertans paid $221.4 billion more in federal taxes than they received in transfers and federal programs.”

But, Albertans have been doing this since 1961.

Some estimates total this at over $460 billion dollars (not adjusted for inflation). And remember when Albertans paid off their public debt – with low oil prices and less oil production – even when their pockets were being picked by Canada.

Albertans occupy a very ‘strategic’ location, collectively own 80 per cent of Alberta’s natural resources and recently ranked thirty-sixth in the world for exports.

Of course, an independent Alberta would be able to leverage this dominant position, with not only, its closest neighbours (including B.C., N.W.T., the U.S., Manitoba and Saskatchewan), but also the remainder of Canada.

 

Corinne & Jay Bortnik, Albertans

Hanna, Ab.

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