, 10.24.2019 08:29 AM

The West wants out

The day after the election, two things happened.

Shares in SNC-Lavalin – a company based in Quebec – went up, way up.  Up 14 per cent, in a single day.

And Husky Energy – a company based in Alberta – laid off hundreds of people.  I don’t know the exact number, but every news report said “hundreds.”

I didn’t find out about it from the media, anyway.  I found out from my best friend, who runs an engineering firm in Calgary.  He sent me an email.

The message was clear.  Trudeau gets re-elected, Quebec wins.  Alberta, and the West, loses.

A Quebec-based company – one Trudeau and his PMO arguably obstructed justice to help avoid a corruption prosecution – wins.  And a fine Calgary company – one that plays by the rules and even embraced the idea of a carbon tax – loses.

I was born in Montreal, as was my best friend. We grew up together.  We, and our families, were always reliably Liberal – even during the NEP.  Pierre Trudeau’s energy plan was a huge mistake, but he at least had a philosophical context for what he did.  And he had the intellectual faculties to explain himself.

His son, almost 40 years later, basically doesn’t.  The son stood at a podium in Ottawa and said he needed to pay extra attention to the West, now.  But he talked about the West like it was a foreign country, one he hasn’t visited yet.  One he’d like to check out before his AirMiles run out.

Nobody in the West believes him anymore.  As Matt Gurney wrote in the Post this morning, Justin Trudeau demonized Alberta and Saskatchewan throughout the election – their leaders, their way of life – and now he expects everyone to forget that, I guess.  He surrounds himself with advisors and ministers who heap contempt on the West and Westerners.

And who then clamber into big chauffeured limousines propelled by, you know, Western oil.

I’ve lived in Toronto for more years than I thought I ever would.  A couple weeks ago, I decided: I want out.  I want out of here.  

Westerners, starting Monday night, have started saying the same thing, in a way that they never did during the NEP.

As they watch Husky employees step onto Eighth Avenue, carrying boxes filled with personal belongings and potted plants, SNC-Lavalin investors probably don’t give a sweet damn.

But they will, they will.


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    joe says:

    I used to be a proud Canadian.

    Now I want Alberta, and the the other western provinces , to leave confederation. Even if Alberta had to leave on its own, I want out.

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      Guy maris says:

      Warren you have Nailed it. Keep telling the Truth .

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    Pedant says:

    You should read the comments on Jason Kenney’s Facebook account. Perhaps not perfectly representative of the province as a whole but surely not far off. They want action NOW. What action, you ask? It appears a two-step pathway is requested:

    1) Referendum on renegotiating the equalization formula. NOW. Not in 2021 when it was originally scheduled to take place. NOW.

    2) Assuming the referendum passes by a landslide, Kenney will go to Trudeau requesting the federal government negotiate in good faith. The primary demand will likely be to exclude oil & gas revenue from the formula just as Quebec’s hydroelectric revenue is excluded. If Trudeau tells Kenney to pound salt, the next referendum will be for separation.

    The separation vote might be a stretch. But I imagine Harper’s firewall manifesto from 2001 will be dusted off now a generation later. Some very interesting times ahead.

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      Jim R says:

      Is there any attempt at rationalizing Quebec’s hydroelectric revenue exclusion? A cynic would wonder whether it’s nothing more than a ploy to make Quebec a have-not province and thus a beneficiary of equalization payments.

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        Chris says:

        Bill, the issue isn’t that in 2007 the current equalization formula was created. It’s that fast forward to now, the feds renewed said formula, with no western consultation, and in the meantime continue to viciously attack our industry.

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        Dan McTeague says:

        Your comments leave no doubt as to why the divide in the land we call Canada. Although you rightfully acknowledge the Churchill Falls raw deal, your take is supportive of the new cult of climatism which relegates the West to a “one-horse economy”. The facts suggest otherwise but rather than debate your obsession with seeing all things through the dubious yardstick of greenhouse gas imperatives, your insults here, as ill informed as they are, serve only to alienate Canadians generally, disregarding the diversity of our economy and the people within it.

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          Laur says:

          I take exception to the comment that Alberta expects everyone to “glug oil forever”. The challenge of Canada, and the world consuming / relying upon oil and gas can be regarded and solved from a demand or supply perspective. A young man from BC tweeted a couple of days back that the goal is to crush the oil industry in Alberta. But does he use plastic, like his cell phone or with his food? How does he get from point A to point B? Or heat his home? How will he do these things after Alberta’s economy is crushed? It’s more accountable and smart for us all to deal with this dependence on oil problem by figuring out how to stop using it rather than demonize and crush it, making Canada way less prosperous and having to import foreign oil and gas. That’s an attack on the supply side and is mentally simpler because you just get to blame a neighbouring province who has been shovelling your sidewalk for decades!

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        Laur says:

        A young man from B.C. tweeted this week that the goal was to crush Alberta, you know for the stated purpose of climate change. Does this young man use plastic, like a cell phone is made of? What does he eat? How is it grown and where does it come from? How does he move around and heat his home?
        Global dependence on oil is a problem for us all. We all agree it’s a non-renewable resource, even if we don’t agree on what exactly the future looks like (ie We will all
        die in 12 years from climate change, as per AOC, or will we experience continued depletion of the resource while we struggle to find viable alternatives?) This could be a challenge to all work together. Demonizing provinces and each other is not the way forward for intelligent people.

        This challenge can be looked at from a supply or demand side perspective. Supply side mean you choke off the Oil industry, which is primarily in AB and Sask. If “successful,
        but you’re still dependent on it, you’ll have to import it from elsewhere and then the entire Canadian5 economy will be considerably poorer. Attacking this problem from the demand side means committing to wean ourselves off oil. Stop using it! Learning how to live well without it. We can also take strides to continue to improve extractioj methods and efficiency, the “cleanliness” of the oil industry, in the meantime. No demons. No villans. Just taking responsibility for the problem collectively and working to solve it together.

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        Mike says:

        Except, flooding forests to create hydro is not green, nor is the massive amount of cement used to build them. The forest rot under the water, they let off methane, which is a far more intensive ghg. All forgotten in the effort to pick and choose your narrative.

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          joe says:

          Is there a hydro dam that the greens supported?

          Note that the Green Party also opposes new mines. So where are the materials for all the electric cars, solar panels, and windmills going to come from?

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        Pedant says:

        Bill, in 2007 oil was near record highs so it wasn’t an issue for Alberta to pay more than its fair share. Now, oil is at half the price of 2007, the federal government and other provinces seem determined to destroy their fellow Canadians in Alberta while STILL demanding that Alberta pay more than its fair share. Surely even you can recognize the vast difference between the situation in 2007 and the situation now?

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      Jim R says:

      Harper’s firewall letter was demonized when it came out. The funny thing is that it did not ask for Alberta anything that at least one other province had or wanted.
      – Alberta Pension Plan – Quebec had it
      – Alberta Provincial Police Force – Quebec and Ontario (and ???) had it
      – Alberta collect personal income tax – Quebec had it
      – Alberta fully taking charge of health care – Quebec wanted it

      So, yup, I wouldn’t be surprised to see it come back to life.

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        The Doctor says:

        Good points. The Firewall Letter has become this bete noire of progressives, who see it as some Redneck Manisfesto. Yet as you point out, those oh-so-progressive Quebecois believe in the same arrangements and already have them in place.

        Does that mean all Quebecois are mouth breathing rednecks? People that bien pensant Ontarians should not consort with?

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          Gord says:

          Gee I forget – is it Alberta or Quebec that has a racist law that makes it illegal for a turban-wearing Sikh or hijab-wearing Muslim to get a job as a schoolteacher?

          Is it Alberta or Quebec that wants to impose a ‘values test’ for immigrants?

          It’s high time we recognized that off the Island of Montreal, Quebec is basically Alabama.

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          Ronald O'Dowd says:


          People like Vancouverois are not in favour of a single tax form administered by a province. But my response is simple: just allow all the provinces and territories to obtain these powers, if they wish to have them. It will be one more step toward symmetrical federalism and that’s both good and logical.

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      David J says:

      The West? I would leave BC out of this (even Manitoba). BC had mixed electoral results. Provincial governments since 2001 have been cooperative with Ottawa (both BC Liberal and the current NDP government — Horgan has been friendly). It’s very different out here. Manitoba’s PC government now has a Minister of Conservation and Climate! Pallister is setting a much different post-election tone than Kenney and Moe.

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        The Doctor says:

        BC has huge divides between rural and urban, urban vs. suburban, Lower Mainland vs. Interior vs. The Island, Southern Interior vs. Northern Interior, etc. Each is its own political ecosystem.

        But remember, polling province-wide in BC has actually favoured Trans Mountain. It’s just that Vancouver and voices there get more attention.

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    Yet Another Calgarian says:

    The jump in SNC stock prices was producing significant conversation in my building on Tuesday.

    Most of which was resigned bemusement rather than outright anger. Most of the people I know… all educated professionals… have stopped believing things will change in Ottawa.

    A credible well thought out alternative to the current status quo relations with the rest of Canada could get way more traction than might be expected at the ballot box. And Trudeau continuing to act like he has the last four years will definitely pump fuel into that fire.

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    Raymond says:

    C’mon home.
    Lunch is on me.

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    Corwin Chomay says:

    If all the rational people like yourself leave Toronto, things aren’t going to get better in this country

    End social media!

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    Gord says:

    I am a transplanted Albertan. I was born and grew up in Manitoba, university in Victoria, lived and worked 12 years in Vancouver, got fed up with the rat race and outrageous cost of living and decamped to Edmonton, where we are very happy.

    I used to dismiss talk of Alberta separation and Alberta grievances as whining. I don’t anymore. Maybe it’s the product of living my entire life west of the Lakehead, but I have never felt more disconnected from the elites that run our country in my lifetime. I’m sick of the Toronto-Ottawa-Montreal-UCC-Brebeuf-UofT-McGill mafia not only calling all the shots, but heaping scorn on all those who disagree.

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      Doug says:

      Trudeau-Butts is fake Toronto-Ottawa-Montreal-UCC-Brebeuf-UofT-McGill mafia. It continues to serve its masters but is completely incompetent.

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    PJH says:

    I was hoping for a Conservative minority govt to a) give PM Chewbacca socks and his inner circle a spanking they richly deserve b) prove to the electorate that Mr. Scheer doesn’t have horns c) that perhaps having a PM who believes in honesty and integrity in gov’t(unlike our current PM) might raise the standard of politics being done in our country today. Sadly, it was not meant to be.

    There are those, Ms. Jody Wilson Raybauld and Dr. Jane Philpott,who showed politics can and should be done differently, and they should be commended for their efforts, and indeed, their sacrifice in order to help raise standards of conduct by our elected officials.

    I hope Mr. Kinsella, you continue your efforts to shine a light on the darker side of politics in Canada. The country, more than ever, needs you.

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    Dartch says:

    You can’t seriously believe that Husky decided overnight to lay off hundreds of people strictly because Trudeau was re-elected. Get real. Those people would have been laid off whether Trudeau or Scheer had been elected. Lay offs like that are planned months if not years in advance.

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      WestGuy says:

      I would disagree.
      Sure, the possibility of layoffs was likely on the drawing board but that doesn’t mean they were a done deal. It is entirely possible that the company was waiting to see how the election went and if Canadians would elect a government that is willing to re-instill a sense of confidence again. That didn’t happen.
      Sure, Trudeau says TMX will get built but the pipeline is more of a symbol than it is a mode of transportation. The expansion will allow an additional 600,000 barrels to move. Alberta produces 5 times that. Sure, TMX will be helpful it won’t negate the uncertainty that Bills C69 and C48 created. It won’t negate the uncertainty created by a political leader that often portrays it as the bad guy on the climate debate.
      What the sector needs far more than just one pipeline is confidence that it will have the support of a government that won’t kneecap it at every turn and actually help it develop again. Confidence will do far more good for the sector than a single pipeline ever could.
      When Trudeau was re-elected, that confidence failed to materialize. I’m not saying the layoffs weren’t planned a while ago, I’m just saying it is entirely possible that they were triggered by the election results.

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      Pedant says:

      Obviously he doesn’t believe that. Do you not comprehend symbolism? The Husky layoffs juxtaposed with SNC stock soaring perfectly symbolizes the current situation within Confederation.

      Celebration in Quebec while they push their influence to rake in the money. Hardship in Alberta as they lack influence and are forced to pay up. Think of it as a direct line of cash from Husky (and Husky employees, past and present) towards SNC Lavalin. This kind of inequity cannot last.

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      Yet Another Calgarian says:

      The Husky layoffs have been in the works since spring.

      The point is though that tens of billions of dollars of capital spending has left Canada during the last four years, not just in Alberta, and its not coming back. And that has been most definitely compounded by the Liberal government.

      That is why there are layoffs. There is zero confidence that Ottawa and the voters out East grasp the implications of that and businesses are planning accordingly.

      That works out to billions of dollars of lost tax revenue for all three levels of government across the country when spread out over the length the of the useful lifespans of what could have been built with that investment money.

      Given the approval timelines for major projects in Canada, not just for oil projects, that is money gone for a generation assuming it does come back at all.

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        A. Voter says:

        And the Conservatives couldn’t make use of this in the election, which is why they lost Blue Liberal votes. Foreign investment is down, the amount of money being transferred out of Canada is up. And Scheer talked about tax breaks for piano lessons.

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    jen says:

    There is so much talk about Ottawa as an oppressive and tyrannical regime- and how conservative resistance leaders will liberate Alberta from evil Ottawa. I am Albertan, born and living here, an I am asking myself the following question:

    Is this the rise of the ‘social justice warrior’ right?

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    The Doctor says:

    Some of the casual anti-Alberta remarks that some of my self-styled progressive Facebook friends make are nothing short of disgusting. Labelling everyone in a province as hicks, idiots, retrogrades, etc.

    The stupid thing is really something: Alberta is demonstrably one of the most highly educated populations in the country.

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      Eazy P says:

      As a Cancer patient they were incredible – the doctors, nurses and support staff are amazing. As a cancer survivor and unemployed professional they are horrible, worse than cancer – statistics I’ve read highlight that in Alberta people are discriminated against, not just for race, or accents, but also for health and disabilities – more than anywhere else in Canada. Applying for work is opening yourself to cultural stigma against gaps in resumes that lead to conversations about cancer in job applications – followed by obsessive health underwriting for employment that nobody else has to deal with no matter how unhealthy they live, with their whacko delusions, or eating habits – so long as they have been lucky not to suffer for it yet – or for being in the right network

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      Nick M. says:

      Especially given Alberta is one of Canada’s most multicultural provinces.

      Many born and bred Albertans think the east are ignorant racists. I am like no they aren’t racist, that is not the case, they are simply indifferent. Or are blinded by their ideology.

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        Gord says:

        Or in the case of pure laine Quebecois, actually racist. (See Bill 21, values tests for immigrants, “money and the ethnic vote”, etc).

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      jen says:

      My statement above was not anti Alberta- and it didn’t refer to the population as ‘retrograde, hicks and idiots’.

      Its simply an observation. The Trudeau liberal brand is something of a cult in most parts of Canada. In Alberta we don’t worship that.

      We have a different cult around the Conservative party of Alberta. In this perspective, all of our problems are caused by politicians in Ottawa and easterners. Its as though they believe Alberta has been perfectly managed over the past 40 years except for the small interlude of NDP government – which summarily tanked years their brilliant management.
      Reality check, our Heritage Trust was depleted by successive Tory governments in the 80s and 90s. When oil prices were high much of the oil patch overextended itself on cheap credit and are feeling the crunch when the oil price collapsed. This is what happens when a commodity bubble bursts.

      While its fair to criticize Ottawa on many pipeline issues, the current economic malaise in Alberta can not be singularly blamed on progressives ‘anti Alberta’ easterners.

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        Doug says:

        The energy industry has dramatically adjusted its cost structures down to the point that cash flows are remarkably strong. Its challenge is attracting investment under an oppressive regulatory regime. That issue is entirely due to federal over reach. Restoring the investment climate will require:
        -replacing the alleged Canadian Energy Regulator created by C69 with something that imposes clear rules that actually matter. Remove all references to Liberal virtue signalling on Gender, clean energy etc. that have nothing to do with actual constructuon projects
        -assert absolute federal jurisdiction over inter provincial infrastructure projects like pipelines. Any provincial or first Nation objections would be met with reduced federal transfers to the over reaching party
        -end the discriminatory C48 that prevents loading of bitumen but no other products on the northern BC. It is not a tanker ban as the US disputes Canadian territorial claims on those waters and moves hundreds of tankers per year
        -work with the Supreme Court to codify “duty to consult” down the most narrow definition possible that will be subject to the least amount of judicial interpretation possible. No functional democracy can leave land usage over a majority of the country up to the Courts
        -impose a national carbon tax that applies exactly the same to all provinces, even Quebec, but exempts emissions that support exports. As the majority of energy production is ultimately exported, the energy industry would pay its fair share
        -redefine tax treatment of charities. Lobbying and political activism of any type would not be considered tax exempt activities. Fake charities like the David Suzuki Foundation can split themselves into tax exempt and non tax exempt entities

        The Province has been managed by pseudo NDP since about 2002. Even with the supposed tough budget, AB will still vastly out spend all other provinces. Spending growth from Stelmach onwards vastly exceeded inflation plus population growth and in some years stretched into the double digits. No large organization can expand that quickly and still operate efficiently. The major takeaway from Alberta’s overfunding of public services is that funding doesn’t equate to quality. This week’s budget was a step in the right direction but is still based on overly optimistic revenue projections and only aspires to balance the operational deficir. More spending restraint is necessary and will hopefully arrive as union contracts expire.

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    Kevin says:

    That cartoon illustrates why our next new vehicle purchase will not be canadian built.

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    Doug Brown says:

    I could see Trudeau doing some lame like increasing federal transfers to AB and SK funded purely from increased deficit spending, rather than the more appropriate act of reallocating transfers to QC.

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      The Doctor says:

      Yes, well deficits don’t matter anymore. Because it’s 2019.

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    Dan Blackstone says:

    Lived over first half of my years in BC, lots of those in the lower mainland urban bubble, some just outside of it. Moved to AB to chase work in 92, was going to come for 5 years, still here.

    I live in a semi rural area, most people in the immediate area aren’t even directly employed by the resource industry. There was always about 1/2 dozen or so Canadian flags visible on the drive out on my way to work. I noticed this morning mine is the only one. Only because I haven’t taken it down yet.

    That happens tonight, just before my weekly bonfire & Big Rock beer sacred ritual.

    Interpret this however you wish, folks from the East & BC bubble.

    And keep up the condescending scolding & telling us we don’t know how good we have it.

    Really, keep it up..

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    Darwin O'Connor says:

    Just the remind people, denialist notwithstanding, burning fossil fuels needs to be virtually eliminated about 30 years. Demand for oil must start dropping soon, which means production must slow.

    Economics clearly says that the most expensive sources will be the first to cut back as production slows, which puts the oil sands at the top of the list.

    Even without climate change electric cars is getting cheaper and better every year.

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      Doug Brown says:

      Fossil fuel demand is still increasing and will likely continue to do so. No Canadian government policy can influence global supply and demand as any action taken here will shift activity elsewhere. These fact are irrefutable, binary truths. Why isn’t there government action to phase out Canadian vehicle and aircraft production in the name of climate change?

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      Robert White says:

      Our resident Sprott School of Business professor suggested today that Alberta oil sands development is here to stay for the next half century at minimum. Professor Ian Lee teaches internationally and is a recognized Economist across Canada.

      Athabasca oil sands development will end up moving towards refined oil & gas products in situ Alberta given the trend of all the political parties towards carbon based taxation.

      Alberta, Kenny, & the CONs all have to move the Conservative Party platform towards the centrist position for reduction of Green House Gases so that they are aligned with the Liberals & NDP on the policy.


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        Yet Another Calgarian says:

        Or we could just take our carbon emissions and go play somewhere else leaving the east to freeze in the dark to borrow a quote.

        At least you’d get to write off an alleged third of your emission reduction targets. And the 20 billion net Alberta pumps into the national treasury. But, carbon emissions!

        As for the in situ comment that requires capital investment and a functioning regulatory environment which the money outflows are saying don’t expect for quite some time.

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          Robert White says:

          I advised Premier Jason Kenny to lobby the Government of Canada for the $40 billion dollar CDN in situ Athabasca Alberta refinery yesterday. I advised Scheer & the Conservative Party of Canada to utilize my idea back in 2018 when Premier Notley was facing the lowered price per barrel politically & administratively.

          The CONs only have one chance & road to make good or they are proverbial toast.


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            Yet Another Calgarian says:

            Yes well I’m sure Premier Kenney was heavily incentivised to listen to advice from someone who spells Conservative CON.

            As for the refinery why on god’s earth would we spend 40 billion dollars on something the market in North America hasn’t seen the need to build since the mid 1970s? And then have no way of shipping out of province anyway?

            Frankly that’s just about as a ridiculous demand for statist intervention that completely ignore market realities as much as all green energy advocates do.

            And as for the conservative party going away and reinventing itself… perhaps not a bad thing consider the intellectual wattage they displayed this election. Certainly no one I know professionally or personally has any emotional attachment to them.

            What happens next though needs to get worked out at the provincial level first and then passed onto Ottawa rather than the reverse.

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            Doug Brown says:

            The refinery argument is based on two fallacies:

            1) Processing a natural resources captures more value than simply exporting the resource. The problem is that existing refineries already struggle to earn much of a return. A new refinery in Alberta would likely never recoup the tens of billions it would cost to build as operating margins are so thin. It is also far cheaper to build refining capacity somewhere like the Gulf Coast where it never freezes, materials are more plentiful and labor cheaper

            2) Shipping synthetic crude or refined product is somehow safer or more socially acceptable than moving diluted bitumen by pipeline. The smart activist crowd (an extremely small subset of the overall activist herd) has successfully built the false narrative that both pipelines and diluted bitumen are dangerous because the general public knows very little about either. For example, if you randomly polled people whether diluted bitumen is harder to clean up in event of a spill, a majority would likely answer that it is. Someone with any kind of STEM background would know that diluted bitumen is still less dense than even fresh water and will float.

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      lyn says:

      D.O’D….Not all of THEM are in OIL!!

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      Julian says:

      The elites are making even more money out of the “climate crisis”!

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    Doc says:

    Kinney waited until after the election to table those surgical cuts. And they let Ford out of the bunker so there’s plenty of bad news on the way. Stick around, the shtshow’s just getting started.

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      Chris says:

      Kenney cut Alberta’s spending by an entire 2.8% over 4 years is today’s Alberta Budget (Oct 24). Public sector job losses are to be done by attrition. No decreases in health or primary education. You think that is bad news?

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    Ronald O'Dowd says:

    Like I said before, no one in English Canada gave two-shits when old man Trudeau shafted us in 1982 — and today still, none of you give two shits.

    And then you’re surprised that those same Canadians couldn’t care less about Alberta now???

    Here’s the remedy: depopulate this country and bring in people who actually have a heart and care about the general welfare of people in every province, region and territory cause what we’ve got living in Canada now are self-indulgent assholes. If both Quebec and Alberta finally separate, I won’t mourn Canada for a second because she is finally getting what she richly deserves and asked for since 1982.

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      Vancouverois says:

      And as I’ve said before, this deranged separatist hate-propaganda you keep pushing about how Quebec was somehow betrayed in 1982 is utter fantasy. It was promoted by Brian Mulroney, the same Prime Minister who accepted money in brown envelopes, in order to appeal to separatist voters and appease the separatist members of his own caucus.

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    Derek Pearce says:

    So Canada is done. It was fun while it lasted. It’ll be interesting to see how historians dissect it’s demise. But I’m a true smarty-pants post-nationalism kind of guy (not joking here). If the price of climate action, if the price of not putting economic growth first above all else all the time, is the disintegration of the country, so be it. Broken up into several Belgiums will mean slower economic growth for everyone, which means less carbon use. We don’t need more and more shit to buy and bigger cars and bigger houses all the time.

    It’s going to be a race to see who can make a better go of it alone. My prediction is that in the short term the new Republican of AlbSaskaToba will be richer with higher growth rates, but gradually over the longer term (40+ years from now) as renewable energy gets cheaper and more reliable* then eventually that new republic will fall behind the advanced economies of the Republique du Quebec and Dominion of Ontario. BC will be ok. The Atlantic is screwed but thems the breaks. AlbSaskaToba better serious about maintaining a sovereign wealth fund.

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      Derek Pearce says:

      * yes duh, I know we aren’t suddenly going to stop using carbon over night. Nobody who wants climate action thinks this.

      Cocaine and heroine used to be part of every day medicines but better, less addictive alternatives were found. When the lightbulb was being refined before hitting the mass market, people used candles and gaslight. Just because we rely heavily on carbon now doesn’t mean we always will. A wee bit will still be needed for some plastic production. But the days of mass extraction and burning of carbon will end.

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        lyn says:

        Derek Pearce: So what your saying is BUY from other countries to fill our needs and be damned with the WEST! Not in your life time!! Keep producing Alberta, Sask and MB.

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    Steve T says:

    Warren, I know Preston Manning was “the enemy” (figuratively speaking only) for your years with Chretien, but his interview with BNN today is really incisive.


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    Fred Scott says:

    Thank you, Mr.Kinsella, for continuing to speak the truth that Canadians need to hear, even though many refuse to listen.
    A lot of analysis has gone into the failings of the CPC and the NDP to sway voters, but your analysis, and that of Marni Soupcoff in yesterday’s National Post highlight an essential point in all of this: there is something terribly wrong with this country when a woman of integrity like Jane Philpott is booted from office, and demonstrably incompetent parliamentarians like Shameless O’Regan are re-elected; there is something terribly wrong with this country when a corrupt company like SNC-Lavalin prospers while a company like Husky, that has followed the rules, suffers.
    This could have, and should have been an election in which Canadians from coast to coast, and from the left and the right united to repudiate the corruption, arrogance, hypocrisy, deceitfulness and divisiveness of the Trudeau Cult, but the progressive voters of the east instead chose to endorse it. It was not that they were without options; Jagmeet Singh is an inspirational Canadian leader, yet his party lost support.
    As much of the West sees it, for the good of the nation the progressive urban voters of the East had a duty and responsibility to make the right choice. They failed to do so. They refused to do so. In so doing they have opened a Pandora’s Box, and it is not going to end well, for any of us.

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      lanvcr says:

      Nonsense, it will totally end well for the West. I dont care about the rest.

      No animosity, it’s been fun. But the election proved what was only theorized, that the east isn’t like us. Different priorities all across the board.

      No biggie, we’ll just head off down the pub and leave to your fate as you will leave us to ours.

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    Ronald O'Dowd says:

    It burns my ass to see Alberta money leaving the province under equalization when that same money is urgently needed in that same province. Equalization, yes, but when you’re own house is on fire, care for Albertans first and foremost. Then do what you can for other regions, provinces and territories, if you are so inclined.

    Doing a re-do on equalization is practically impossible cause too many vested interests won’t want to give up their BC and AB mother’s milk. But they should.

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    Doug Brown says:

    Expecting Naheed Nenshi to be appointed to the Senate and welcomed into Cabinet as the token SK/AB representative. Butts would have a hard time finding anyone Liberal friendly who would have any credentials representating of AB/SK. Trudeau 1.0 took a similar tact in appointing Maurice Strong and John Ralston Saul to lead PetroCan. Strong allegedly had energy industry experience as he was CEO of the Liberal friendly Bronfman failure in the resource industry. Ralston Saul lived in Alberta as a child, but was still an enlightened member of the Laurentian Elite.

    Nenshi is at least as narcissistic as Trudeau so he would leap at the media attention, ready to overlook the brown face incidents of his benefactor. At least Calgary could have a new Mayor to hopefully start the painful task of cleaning up the City’s finances after 9 years of fake progressive leadership.

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    Scott A says:

    Quick correction Warren, those limos are often fueled with Saudi blood oil, not Western Canadian oil. That being said, everything you said is correct.

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    Roger B says:

    To anyone who says “The voters are always right” I have two words for you: Jane Philpott.

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      Ronald O'Dowd says:


      Yes, the voters are always right but that’s mutually exclusive. However, it doesn’t necessarily correlate with smart. What happened to Philpott is a regrettable case in point.

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        Lawrence Barry says:

        I have always said after an election that – like it or not – suck it up because this is our Prime Minister and our government – the voters are always right. I’ve been around the block a few times and this is the first time in my life that I’ve said ” fuck that” – I didn’t sign up for the program of electing a racist / lying / misogynist to carry the pail for our country. How embarrassing on the world stage. Makes the Orange Baboon look good. Jesus God that takes a lot.

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          Richard Mellon says:

          I couldn’t agree more. Trudeau could have been caught with a room full of dead hookers and blow and the eastern lib supporters would have still lined up to vote for him. Shocking really.

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    Kevin says:

    I remember as a child, the “Republic of Western Canada” stickers in the back windows of my Father and Grandfather’s Pickups. Skip forward to a few years ago. Canada’s 150th Birthday. My youngest Son’s grade three assembly . They show a film about Canada. Then a picture of Trudeau comes up on the screen. One hundred grade three kids booing the Prime Minister. . The East doesn’t get it

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      Ronald O'Dowd says:


      What people don’t get is that group-think is not even remotely healthy for a society and YES I mean you, Alberta, Quebec and Ontario.

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    S. Boniface says:

    “The West” as a united bloc is mythical. You forget Jason Kenney threatened to “turn off the taps” to British Columbia. Kenney is not a true Westerner, but a rootless cosmopolitan, born in Ontario, raised some in Saskatchewan, university San Francisco, never married, no children, a clone of libertarian Grover Norquist. Basically, no government. At present, Kenney is a hustler who wants to sell oil to Communist China. If the pristine coasts of British Columbia – the ancestral home of Salish First Nations – are spoiled with oil, he doesn’t care. What’s happened to you Kinsella? I know you got that scar on your lip from standing up for the weaker. Don’t sell out. Do the right thing.

    Oil Spill Brazil:


    Genocide Darfur / Chinese Oil Pipeline:


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      Pedant says:


      Flooding land for a hydroelectric reservoir has an extreme environmental impact: it destroys forest, wildlife habitat, agricultural land, and scenic lands. In many instances, such as the Three Gorges Dam in China, entire communities have also had to be relocated to make way for reservoirs

      Shall we shut down the hydroelectric power industry?

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    Groovy Styles says:

    You should come home. Something is stirring here. This will be ground zero for Canadian politics in the coming months. We could use the help.

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    Peter Breedveld says:

    Albertans should work towards independence!

    An independent Alberta can increase services, lower taxes, balance the budget and invest in the Heritage Fund by not wasting money subsidizing Quebec. We’d have more leverage for pipelines because we could embargo BC without court interference.

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      Fed up on the island says:

      Alberta already has a embargo on BC. Most refined products fit lower mainland and island come from Washington. That’s why we’re getting it up the backside for decades now.

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        lance says:

        CN and CP have contract’s with major retailers HQ’ed in Ontario. 24-36 hours west coast delivery to Ontario or forfeit. That’s why every train but passenger sits on the sidings while the intermodals stay on the mains non-stop.

        Good luck.

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    Nicholas Swart says:

    A moving column by Warren Kinsella. And he is correct, as always.

    How did we get here? It is because of a political party that:

    – applies uneven concern to the citizens that it is supposed to represent
    – views power as its prime objective, above everything else
    – believes the ends justify all means
    – is convinced that those who do not share its views are inferior people
    – is incapable of admitting, ever, that it is wrong

    This is not a liberal party. It is an illiberal party.

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    Pete says:

    Not to over-dramatize the election, but I’ve given up on Canada. I closed a deal on a lovely home in the Cayman Islands as of Nov 1, my daughter will finish her school year at Cayman International School and I can finally stop feeling the frustration and disappointment of Canada and the bizarre evolution of its politics. I feel no patriotism at all for a country that embraces a horrible person like Justin Trudeau, or considers him fit to run the country. It’s pathetic and embarrassing to me, but clearly I’m the outlier and I’m the one who doesn’t fit in. So, I’ll gladly leave. I totally understand the sentiment in Alberta.

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    Holly says:

    Perhaps, much more should be done ASAP, in the area of educating people here on all aspects of the possible separation.

    Can not blame the regular folk for their fears of the “unknown”. After all, there have been years and years where the politics were left to politicians and only a narrow group of concerned were paying attention to the economical and policy changes.

    But now everyone is getting involved and as the history shows, the outcome can be quite chaotic if the process is going to be poured not through the funnel of actual expertise but through the ideological drain.

    The changes based on ideological hysteria lead to revolutions often resulting in mission fiasco. The changes based on expertise, analysis and strong advanced grasp of all pros and cons lead to the success of the mission.

    IMHO it is imminent to make a call in the nearest possible future to get the actual experts to begin mass education of the population on all aspects of the process to help form the power of decision, not the brew of opinion.

    There are strong historical examples of separation bravery shown by some modern-day tiny countries who were successful in the process because people there were armed with the power of decision.

    Based on my own experience going through such process the situation now is right at the fork between the failure and success.

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    mike jeffries says:

    The issue is there are too many *nations* in Canada and as Trudeau himself said ‘Canada’ is the first “postnational state”. He added: “There is no core identity, no mainstream in Canada.”
    No, there isn’t as a result of this failed Canada experiment of ‘multiculturalism’.
    Building anything here ‘trans’ is no longer possible since it is impossible to please all the nations!
    Either Trudeau finds a Canada that can be united under a common interest of national prosperity or it explodes into separate countries!

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    Al in Cranbrook says:

    Check my math…
    Canada produces 1.6% of human generated CO2. Alberta oil sands generate about 15% of that total, or so it is said.
    Let’s assume that global CO2 increases by 15 ppm over the next 10 years, entirely generated by human activity.
    If we shut down the entire oil sands tomorrow – 15 x 1.6% x 15% x 10 years – it would result in reducing global CO2 from 415 ppm to 414.64 ppm.
    And all that would cost us is about 300,000 jobs, but probably more, across the nation, and ultimately the demise of Canada itself in very short order.
    Bear in mind that CO2 constitutes roughly 0.04% (or 4/100 of 1 percent) of our atmosphere. And roughly 5% of that CO2 is generated by human activity.
    In fact, if an asteroid landed on Canada tomorrow and wiped out the entire nation in a single stroke, the net effect on global CO2 would be virtually negligible…and that would probably be negated by China within mere months.
    For everyone to think about: Were each of us take time out every Sunday morning to sacrifice a goat to the Gods of Climate, it would essentially have about the same net benefit to humankind and the planet. Albeit perhaps not as personally satisfying, granted.
    You know?

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      Al in Cranbrook says:

      Not to mention this would create a whole new industry in raising goats, worth billions to the economy, and we’d all eat pretty good on Sunday night.

      …I think I might be onto something!

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