, 02.28.2020 10:03 AM

Calling all Alberta fans

As I thumb this out, I’m in Calgary to teach at the Faculty of Law. Excited to be back. All of you can call me “professor,” please.

Anyway. Around this time yesterday, I was on a plane pointed West. We all were stuck there, hour after interminable hour, waiting for our WestJet plane to get de-iced. Sitting there, I got an idea.

Alberta, my home, has been hit hard in recent years. Bankruptcies, unemployment, countless businesses going under. It’s main industry – whether you like that industry or not – has been flatlined for half a decade. People are suffering. Families are hurting.

Teck, Trans Mountain, Coastal GasLink, Keystone, Northern Gateway: they’re all just words to most people, in most of Canada. But in the landlocked provinces, Alberta and Saskatchewan, they’re more than mere words. They’re projects they desperately needed to simply survive. They’re not getting them.

I know, I know: the environment. But my family has lived here for thirty years – and I can tell you that most Albertans are a lot frigging closer to the natural environment than 99 per cent of Toronto residents. They live here: they want to protect and enhance the environment more than someone working on Bay Street does. Believe it.

But they want to survive, too. As citizens of what is supposed to be the greatest country, they have a legal and constitutional right to that, you know? Life, liberty and security of people. All that.

So, the adversaries of Alberta – its enemies, even – are found outside Alberta. They’re mainly in Central Canada. That’s where the fight for Alberta therefore needs to be taken – where most Canadians, and politicians, and media people are. A war room for Alberta, kind of, located behind enemy lines.

Sitting on the plane, symbolically stuck in Ontario, I put out word on social media. I want to create a group that isn’t partisan, isn’t corporate, isn’t government, but is citizen-led. Involve ex-pat Albertans like me, but also folks in Central Canada who feel Alberta is getting treated unfairly. Mission: defend and promote Alberta. Make it factual, fast and fun.

I’ve gotten a huge response already, and media interest too. So, once I get back to the Centre of the Universe, I’m going to convene a get-together at my firm – a party, for starters – to bring together folks who feel as I do, and who want to help out.

I will be back to y’all soon about when that party is going to happen. But, by God, I am going to do this.

Alberta deserves better. It deserves fairness.

Who’s in?


  1. Bert says:

    I don’t cry but I might be. Thanks and good luck

  2. Pat Bateman says:

    I’m in. It would be nice to have some positive experiences.

  3. Jim Lee says:

    Jim in YYC

    • Derek Pearce says:

      Bingo. I have no I’ll will toward people suffering through joblessness but whether you live in Alberta or Toronto or Tibet the climate has to be the chief concern.

      • Chris Sigvaldason says:

        Everybody is concerned about the environment and everybody wants to do something about it, UNTIL they are personally financially affected.

        Ask rural Ontarians, many of whom couldn’t afford to heat their homes after the Ontario Liberal green program jacked up electricity prices. Ask the government of Indonesia that needs power that it cannot afford, currently building 104 brand-new coal-fired electricity plants that have to be financed by the Asian Infrastructure Bank (which Trudeau has given $250-million dollars). Ask the eigth-of-a-million Canadians in the energy industry who are now unemployed, draining their retirement savings, and foreclosing on their homes.

        Right now, urban Central Canada is paying a few cents per litre carbon tax. Wait until you REALLY start to have to a pay a price for environmental purity. “Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face.”-Mike Tyson.

  4. How do you keep it from being hijacked by climate change denialists?

  5. Don Sager says:

    Count me in

  6. I have family in both London, ON and Calgary, AB. I now live in Calgary. Spent 2 years in Fort Mac and got shipped home due to recession 2008. Came back 2015 to work and develop business. Met a guy in O&G who lost his wife, kids and is close to suicide. I have to do something. This is an incredibly smart plan and I hope I can be part of it. It seems like my calling.

  7. David Finley says:

    I’m in !

  8. Steve says:

    I’m in! While born in Ontario, I lived for fifteen years in Alberta and absolutely loved it (OK, maybe not the winters, but Alberta winters are sunnier than the grey, depression-inducing winters of the GTA). Met a lot of great people, did a lot of good business, have a lot of fond memories, and met the love of my live. Most importantly, remain to this day impressed by the can-do spirit and self-reliance of Albertans, especially in stark contrast to those in Ontario who typically seek out the government to solve problems.

    There is a lot of misinformation in central Canada about Alberta: spoiled, whining children, who only know how to dig goo out of the ground. RUBBISH! Anything we can do to change perceptions is long overdue. I’m with ya, Warren!

  9. Marianne Trevorrow, ND says:

    I had to leave Calgary last year, because my ND clinical practice flatlined after 2015–I was barely keeping my head above water and my colleagues were all saying that same thing. My patients were also losing their jobs–and their benefits, and sometimes their marriages and their houses. My landlord went bankrupt so of course there’s no point fighting for my deposit back either. Now my conventional MD colleagues are getting hit. So here I am in Kingston listening to all these NIMBYs complain about a ‘climate change emergency’ and dissing ‘redneck Alberta’ while they jump in their gasoline cars and have their stable government jobs (I had to sell my car to make enough to move here) and I’m sick of it. I.AM.SO.IN.

  10. richard hofer says:

    What a great idea. The current government should give Daisy a million a year for 5 years to get the word out. Warren is not everyone’s cup of tea but he is a dangerously effective communicator -just ask Mad Max

  11. Mike Jeffries says:

    The difficulty here is Notley tried that. Dialogue here, there, and everywhere. Nothin’.
    This. https://nationalpost.com/news/one-thing-canadians-arent-divided-on-blaming-the-government-for-the-blockades

    The status quo of Canada is that Alberta is irrelevant to Ottawa whatever partisan group. It’s only about Toronto and Montreal getting wealthy and as long as Quebec/Ontario are happy shit on the rest of you!

    I think even Jason doesn’t quite get it yet. He will. Canada is broken. Landlocked Switzerland has done it. So can Alberta. Selling its oil & gas to BC and Ontario! Alberta as a country is what I want.

    • Christian says:

      I didn’t realize Switzerland was dependent on an oil industry that needs access to tidewater. Apples and oranges my friend.

  12. Alan Beveridge says:

    I’m in. Love Alberta even when I’m stuck in Ottawa

  13. Mike Ward says:

    I’m in. Grew up in Ontario, lived in Calgary during the 2000’s and now in BC. Not sure if I’d make the party, but I’m up to help, otherwise.

  14. Mike Ward says:

    I’m in. Not sure if I’d make the party though. Grew up in Ontario, lives in Calgary for 10 years and now in BC.

  15. Linda Chorney says:

    I’m in. Let me know how I can help. I live in Calgary and am well aware of the struggles.

  16. Amanda Alexander says:

    I’d like to learn more and understand how I can help. An objective group that can help explain both sides of the issue is important.

  17. Dylan says:


    I’m in!

    Can we include the folks in Saskatchewan – my home province? They’re hurting too.

    I have family both in Saskatchewan and Alberta. My heart breaks hearing stories from back home. My brother is one of the many that lost his job. I’m doing this for him.

    I now live in Ottawa. I’m here to help.


  18. Steve T says:

    Great of you to do this, WK, and I’m sure your message will be very well-received by a weary and beaten-down Alberta. As you point out, they are tired of being the scapegoat for the entire global climate situation, and tired of being told to “take one for the team”. They rightly see that, once again, those making the proclamations are not those who will suffer most with the sacrifices.

  19. Terry Etam says:

    I’m in – so long as your initiative includes at a minimum AB and Sask. Done only under the banner of AB is twice the challenge for half the benefit. I would support more of a regional initiative but not purely a provincial one.

  20. Josh Noseworthy says:

    I would love to be a part of the discussion.

    Concerned 34 year old of calgary of works for a global industrial conglomerate



  21. Tom Zvonkovic says:

    100% in. Worked on Major Projects the past few years and it really has dried up and have worked intermittently over the past 4 yrs. We need help.gwz

  22. Darcy Wallace says:

    Dear Mr. Kinsella:

    Would love to get involved. Str8 to point, I have a bit of unused bilingual meme content relevant to getting pipelines built from a third party advertising project during the 2018 New Brunswick provincial election.

    Possible to collaborate if not Toronto based? Best way to communicate concerning this project?

    Have a great trip,

  23. Allan Sudds says:

    I am intrigued and would like to hear more.

  24. Thomas Greene says:

    I’m in. I have nephews in Alberta.

  25. Robin says:

    not going to help as self ascribed climate elitists take comfort in the knowledge their climate morality trumps politics and the hardships of others. The demographics of young green urban leftists indicates a 3rd Trudeau gov’t and a majority. A peaceful parting of ways resulting in Western independence is the way to go. Live and let live. Urban Canadians are welcome to their new green fossil fuel free dystopia so let them have it.

    • Christian says:

      It won’t be peaceful. That’s the point you wexiters miss. Along with the small problem that independence doesn’t get you any closer to the ocean. Think the current indigenous protests and blockades are a problem now? Magnify that a 100 fold. Especially if they decide not to go along with you (remember if Canada is divisible, so is Alberta). There will be long drawn out economically and emotionally destructiive arguments over borders, land ownership, division of assets, free trade, freedom of movement, etc. Just look at all the fun the Brits are having with Brexit. Better we sit down and try to resolve our issues together.

      • Fred from BC says:

        “It won’t be peaceful. That’s the point you wexiters miss. Along with the small problem that independence doesn’t get you any closer to the ocean. ”

        Mitigated by sharing a border with the USA. It’s not only possible, but growing more likely…WK wouldn’t be doing this if it wasn’t.

        • Christian says:

          Your point?

          • Fred from BC says:

            “Your point?”

            (it’s not self-evident? Sorry…I had thought I was fairly clear…)

            But okay…access to the ocean would be through Montana and Washington, both of whom would be more than happy to allow it. If you were thinking that BC would try to block pipelines or free passage, think again: they want access to the rest of Canada as much as Alberta wants access to the ocean.

      • dcardno says:

        I don’t see much interest in “resolving our issues” east of Manitoba, unless by “resolve” you mean “agree to my terms.”

      • Ronald O'Dowd says:


        Of course it will be peaceful just like when the Czech Republic and Slovakia became two nations. I like to be consistent: if Quebec is indivisible then so is Alberta or anywhere else. And why? Because no Canadians want to see civil war is a province that votes to leave. Unlike most of our partners, we’ve always had the good sense not to let things deteriorate to that point. Canada is highly civilized. Thank God for that.

  26. Miles Lunn says:

    Fully agree and happy to donate. Also you should if it can raise enough also consider opening an office on the West Coast. BC Interior may understand Alberta’s struggles, but in Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island, that is not the case. Just look at who they elected provincially, anti-pipeline duo of Horgan and Weaver. I have never lived in Alberta, but both my parents were born there and still have family there and I can tell you a lot there are quite angry. Last time people were this mad was in the early 80s when his father was in power.

  27. Carla Van Dyke says:

    I’m in!

  28. Carla Van Dyke says:

    I’m in. The biggest problem is the west and east have 2 economies. O$G production increases dollar, while east needs a lower $. Demographics are different too. For those reasons I believe separation is the best option.

  29. karen mcswain says:

    definitely interested

  30. Dawn Mills says:

    Toronto born, and current resident. UofC grad ’88.

    I’m in. Let’s start with a road trip to the King Eddy.

  31. Peter Hallinan says:

    Oh you know I am in. Put me in coach

  32. Christine Roth says:

    I’m in Warren.

  33. Fred from BC says:

    Judging by the response just on this website, you’re looking at a pretty popular endeavor. Who knew that so many people were just waiting for a voice? Nice move…

    (just try to keep it from being hijacked by the CAGW hysterics)

  34. I’m an advocate for pipeline and rail transport of oil and natural gas. Also in favour of strictly regulated tanker transport. So, AB, SK and BC deserve our unqualified support.

    Where I get off the train is on this idea that AB does not have to begin its transition plan now so that the economy isn’t primarily fossil fuel based forever. I hope your group can also include this important aspect because the politicians there sure as hell prefer to lie to people and make them believe that the oil and gas economy is good for another 100 years — when in fact, they’ll be lucky to see good times in the next 30 years. As for booms in oil and gas, you can already kiss that one off because fossil fuel boom times are dead forever.

  35. I will also join in your noble venture. I lived in Calgary from 1976 to 1980. No, not everyone in Alberta is a saint, although neither are they all sinners. They just want to be allowed to make a living, and not be used as scapegoats for all of our alleged climate crimes.

  36. Padraig and Lynne Cherry says:

    Great idea! We are in.

  37. PAMELA LEVY says:

    As an Albertan I am conflicted. I get that Alberta has been treated unfairly by the feds and that things are a mess with no end in site. We have so depended on oil $$$ and that has dried up and while there was an opportunity to create a parachute in other areas of industry we have not. Throw in the mindset of the current PMO, Quebec and BC and I do not think we have a chance unless we reinvent Alberta. It would be great to have a voice so I am cautiously in.

  38. PAMELA LEVY says:

    As an Albertan I am conflicted. I get that Alberta has been treated unfairly by the feds and that things are a mess with no end in site. We have so depended on oil $$$ and that has dried up and while there was an opportunity to create a parachute in other areas of industry we have not. Throw in the mindset of the current PMO, Quebec and BC and I do not think we have a chance unless we reinvent Alberta. It would be great to have a voice so I am cautiously in.

  39. Peter Budreski says:

    Count me in

  40. Peter G Budreski says:

    Count me in

  41. HarryR says:

    Ok, we’re all in. Now what?

  42. Robert White says:

    I’m in too, Professor Kinsella. As Ronald stated above the ‘fossil fuel boom is over’, but fossil fuel energy will be here for many more years & decades to come IMHO.

    Our resident Economist thinks fossil fuel development will be here for at minimum of another half century too. Yes, Albertans are getting the shaft by the federal Liberals & policy that seems counterproductive.

    My biggest concern is National Revenue coffers.


    • On what bases does the resident Economist think that? Is it because of ignoring the externalities or assuming politicians will?

      • Robert White says:

        Professor Ian Lee Sprott School of Business Carleton University asserts that decarbonisation will take decades to achieve based upon home heating & transportation that is mainly fueled on Natural Gas & fossil fuels like gasoline, diesel, propane, et cetera.

        Converting every residential home in Canada to electric heat in less than half a century is literally impossible due to costs alone. Converting all municipal fleet service vehicles in Canada to renewable & sustainable energy usage in less than half a century is far too costly for Canadians writ large as a whole. Only the wealth extracting class can afford the costs to convert to renewables which leaves a large gap in their planning model.

        Albertans deserve a fair plan of transition to the overarching ‘renewable’ plans that the federal Liberal Party is imposing on them. Moreover, Professor Lee is a pragmatist ex-banker Economist business professor that teaches internationally.


        • That’s what they said about World War II, it would take too long to convert the economy to a war footing, so we may as well let the Nazis have Europe… Oh wait, they didn’t say that. They just did it.

  43. Stephen Sinclair says:

    I don’t always agree with you Warren But if people can put politics aside to work together to do this for Alberta and, yes, Saskatchewan, then I fully support the effort. I am one of the “victims” of the Suppress the West strategy of this government. No work in 2 years. This could go a long way to educating the masses in the East, particularly Toronto, to understand our plight. just stay away from the MSM as they will pillory the effort at every opportunity.

  44. Walter says:

    I honestly think it’s too late.
    In Ontario and Quebec, I constantly hear disdain for Alberta. They are not viewed as Canadians – but merely colonies who supply some materials and money to the true Canadians of the Laurentian axis.
    If I look back in hind-sight, every signal from the 70’s, 80’s, 90’s and now reminds Alberta that staying has always been a mistake – and simply caused whatever wealth they could stored from oil revenues to be squandered by the East.

    Eventually, Alberta and the West separating will be best for Ontario as well – because maybe we will wake up from our funk and start to actually vote for competence over name recognition.

    • Ronald O'Dowd says:


      True but the other side of the coin is how divisive Harper was for most Québécois and people living in the Atlantic provinces. That did the federation no good either. And they voted accordingly. If Peter wins, hopefully he can quickly change that as well.

  45. Tanya says:

    Mr. Kinsella,
    From an Albertan, thank you for this. I actually had big tears reading this. Born and raised in BC, moved to Alberta 30 years ago, straight from high school to go to the UofC. I started working in the patch in my 20’s and never left. Lived through a marriage, a suicide, raised 3 daughters alone and got them off to university – my life IS Alberta and I am protective of this province like I am my kids and dogs. I have neighbors on both sides of me laid off from industry, one family now walking dogs all day to make ends meet and the other started up a landscape/shovel business. Albertans are a hardy stock and will work at anything to feed their families. So when I see what I see here, and I read what I read other provinces saying about us, I feel bullied and feel such a big disconnect. My bad for being emotional on this one, but big thanks.

    • Warren says:

      No, I thank you. Thank you for telling your story, and thank you for your faith in Alberta. We are going to get this done!

      • Ronald O'Dowd says:


        The first signal Central and Eastern Canada HAVE to send is on equalization. With Alberta suffering horribly, we need a FM Meeting pronto, so payments can be reduced by at least fifty percent. It makes absolutely no sense that Quebec and Ontario receive it at all. Only the Atlantic provinces and the North should get a dime, period. Here’s another one for MacKay. Boy, is he ever going to be busy if he beats Trudeau.

        Here in Quebec, since most are unethusiastic Canadians, it’s logical that the province funds itself with only its own money. Poor sovereignists, they’re in for a reduced standard of living because this province is already the highest taxed.

        • I’m not sure how reducing equalization in other provinces will help Alberta since equalization comes from the federal government. Doing that could lead to a small federal tax reduction across Canada, but unemployed people and unprofitable businesses don’t really pay tax.

          • Terence says:

            Shhhh….you’re making too much sense. “Alberta” doesn’t send a dime to to any other province. High income Albertans who pay federal income tax do…everyone else is a net recipient of Federal transfers.

  46. FM says:

    I like this idea. I will support it. I’m from Ontario but have family in Alberta who are struggling. I like Albertans and Saskatchewians; can-do people who get the job done. We need to support our fellow citizens not oil producers from Saudi Arabia and Venezuela!

  47. Kyle says:

    I am curious to see what shape this could take. Alberta is in desperate need of a PR makeover to show the work being done to become more environmentally conscious. It needs to start getting ahead of the country on setting policy that takes care of people and can address environmental concerns, especially as more people worldwide make this a priority. As a lifelong Albertan, we can look backwards to a past that is not coming back, or we can make a new future that the rest of the country will want. Disunity is not an option, but being leaders in the country is.

    • Steve Maudsley says:

      I think that Rachel Notley tried this approach and was slapped in the face by her allies, such John Horgan and Jagmeet Singh and, even, Justin Trudeau. She brought in a carbon tax and other environmental regulations. I did not appear to win any supporters on further oil and gas development.

      Warren, I appreciate your concern for Alberta. My worry is that it is too little too late and that Alberta will become a autonomous region within Canada, with a separate pension plan and other programs.

      • Paige Smyth says:

        I don’t think you should worry about an autonomous regions within Canada. Our nation was concieved as a group of largely autonomous provinces within the confederation. And there’s going to be lots more as we move forward with indigenous issue settlements. So get used to it. Try to get the best deal for your tribe.

        • Ronald O'Dowd says:


          You have a good point but another argument will be whether Canada today is a federation or a confederation. Not remotely the same in my book. We’re a bit closer to a unitary stare than we are to the rapidly fading American notion of States’ Rights.

          You know, globalisation and all that.

          • Paige says:

            Hi Ronald
            If I had a point it`s that everyone should just chill a bit. Not everything is a calamity.
            As to your comment that we are more a unitary state than a confederation, it`s clear to a western eye that you come from the area of the country that provides the central control rather than from the resource region. (Not an insult, merely an observation).
            Our country is so big it`s inconceivable that any central authority could consistently understand the local concerns of all the citizenry. Thus the need for self government AKA autonomy.
            Globalisation as in “one world government” is dead or at least neutered. See UN for reference.
            If you only mean global trade, maybe you have a point. As long as we turn a blind eye to morality, we can continue to buy/sell freely with any tinpot regime.

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