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This father/son blog is dedicated to the furtherance of the independence movement in Alberta. It has been made abundantly clear that Alberta is the victim of tyranny by the majority. There is no indication that this will ever change. It is time to leave, to go our separate ways. In this blog I will focus on issues relating to Alberta Independence such as why it is necessary, what an independent Alberta might look like and how we can go about forging our independence.

Monday, February 06, 2006

It's a sad day when Ralph Goodale makes sense

We libertarian types with separatist leanings are not exactly doing cartwheels as a result of the election of a minority centrist government. However, like many of my separatist compatriots, I was holding a modicum of hope for Stephen Harper and the gang. I anticipated the announcement of the new cabinet with great interest. Would our man Monte be the finance minister? What key roles would Diane Ablonzcy and Jason Kenney play? Okay, maybe my hope that Myron Thompson would be the Minister of Agriculture was going a little too far! Against that back-drop how was I to react when the first news I heard was that a Liberal – yes, a Liberal would be in the Conservative cabinet. Am I in a Chinese Western? Is there blood spurting out of my head?
But this government will be different. This government will have integrity. This government will lead by principles not politics.
My hope now holds by a mere thread.
As if that wasn’t enough for one day, this evening I received a nearly equally shock to add insult to injury. By some inexplicable sequence of events, I found myself listening to CBC radio while driving. Ralph Goodale was being interviewed. Consider my apoplexy when I found myself agreeing with him. He suggested that it was hypocritical for Stephen Harper’s to elevate to a cabinet position an MP who crossed the floor given his reaction to Belinda Stronach’s defection. Ralph Goodale was making sense. I was beginning to panic. What if I couldn’t keep my vehicle on the road? Fortunately Goodale continued to talk. To think that he would say two sensible things in the same conversation (or in the same decade for that matter) is unthinkable. It would stretch even the most pliable imagination beyond its elastic limit. True to form Goodale began to fume about how unfortunate it is for Canada that the Conservatives will have some cabinet ministers who are interested in making government smaller, less powerful and “less meaningful” to Canadians. Maybe things aren’t as surreal as I thought. I was able to regain composure and stay between the ditches.
Seriously, these Conservatives better start governing with the integrity that they said they would bring to Ottawa or that tiny thread of hope will snap.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

If It's From Calgary It Must Be Illegitimate

Few things are more entertaining that watching Toronto react to the election of a government they didn't get to pick. Today's National Post has an article entitled "Harper May Not Need Big Cities" It concludes with a wonderful quote from a professor Barry Kay from Wilfred Laurier University. Speaking about the Harper government he says "There's a legitimacy issue. He should be thinking about the voters of Toronto rather than the voters of Calgary." That's right boys and girls, voters from Toronto are clearly much more important than those from Calgary. Apparently, a government cannot be legitmate unless it's endorsed by the centre of the universe. Votes from the 'hicks in the sticks' can't be taken seriously.
It's amazing how quickly the rhetoric changes once the tables are turned. The Toronto Liberals never tired of telling Albertans that if we really wanted in, if we wanted to be represented, all we had to do was vote Liberal. If we continued to vote for the Conservative (or Reformers) we wouldn't be allowed to play. Now that Alberta has gotten 'in' suddenly it's time to reach out. It's time to be inclusive.
Evidently Toronto still doesn't get it. I'm betting they never will.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

PMPM Promises to Discuss Human Rights with Chinese Leaders

I'm very pleased to see that our Prime Minister is planning to address the issue of human rights with the President of China. However, I thought that he might have found a more suitable candidate from whom to receive mentoring. Of course, China does have a wide area of ethnicities and languages, so perhaps Mr. Martin thinks President Hu will provide some good ideas on how to deal with Canada’s variety of cultural distinctiveness.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Keep the wolf out of the fold. NEP II?

Now that the Alberta fiscal surplus is hitting the front pages again (National Post August 27th, 2005) it’s time we Albertans rolled up our sleeves and sorted out what to do with it. Firstly, the obvious; when a government has too much cash it’s because it has collected too much tax. We can talk about constraint but remember this government spends more per capita than most, if not all, other provinces. Commodity prices are very hot and so a resource-based province is bound to do well. However, this is not all about luck or Hubbert’s Peak. A lot of people have worked very hard and taken great risk to get this economy blasting along as it is.
The Feds already get a considerable slice of the energy pie through their gasoline taxes. They too benefit from the ‘windfall’ of high energy prices with this tax - tax which is collected for the express purpose of building and maintaining transportation infrastructure. (Have you driven through Calgary lately on that embarrassment called the Trans-Canada Highway - a.k.a 16th Avenue?). Evidently that is not enough. According to Thomas Courchene, Alberta’s fiscal strength is a grave threat to Canada. He says that “Alberta will have to relinquish some of its windfall billions in oil revenue or risk the destruction of the federation.” (Emphasis added)
Cool! Apparently, we can destroy Canada by keeping part of what we earn. By managing our revenue just like every other province we can destroy the country!!!
Before Ottawa steals our surplus they should at least lead by example. Here’s a novel thought – how about using the gas tax for, I don’t know, maybe roads and public transportation. Here’s another crazy idea. Maybe they should stop the illegal activity of taxing taxes by charging GST on federal gas tax. Even crazier - how about telling the truth about their surplus and giving it back to us in the form of reduced taxes?
Let’s generate some ideas on how to manage Alberta’s surplus as well as finding ways to ensure that we can keep it out of Paul Martin’s hands. I was one of the many unemployed as a result of the NEP and I don’t want to go through that again.
I say we put a major thrust into infrastructure. Let’s put about 30 major inter-changes in Calgary. Let’s extend the LRT to all corners of the city. Let’s get the Queen Elizabeth Highway up to 3 lanes from Calgary to Edmonton. Let’s give Fort Mac a fighting chance to meet the needs of the new families and employees in that area. Let’s do a one-time major up-grade that will launch us into the 21st Century and prepare the province to be a North American leader in commerce and energy supply. The oil sands are the future of energy in North America. We need to be able to develop them and get the product to market. Once we have infrastructure up to ‘snuff’, we eliminate the province income tax and shortly thereafter, we drop the provincial corporate tax. Let’s hear you ideas.
Bottomline: This money is ours. We earned it. Let’s get caught up on roads and infrastructure. Ralph, quit taking so much. Finally and most emphatically – OTTAWA KEEP YOUR HANDS OFF!!!

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Medicare Rage

As if we needed yet another reason for leaving Canada.

Why have Canadians allowed themselves to be duped into believing that it is better that everyone has access to free, poor quality, public medical care, with long waiting time than to see anyone have access to private medical care? Why do so many believe that competition and free enterprise are bad when it come to health care? How can we believe that only the government has enough compassion to deliver health care? Face it folks the system is broken – it doesn’t work. Despite the fact that the Feds and the Province are throwing more and more money at a system it is clearly not improving significantly. Without accountability the system can never work well. Don’t lecture me on the ‘horrors’ of private health care. I’m too busy enjoying the horrors of public health. It may be free but waiting a year to see a specialist only to be told to wait another year wait for an operation is neither compassionate nor efficient.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

The Dog-Days of Summer

I think the recent heat may be too much for some folks. My suspicions were heightened when I read a blog written by a Political Science/History student from the University of Calgary last Sunday. It was published in the Calgary Herald on Sunday, July 31st. I was intrigued by the concept of time travel but I found the story to be completely unbelievable. Following is my version of the same trip from what I believe to be a more realistic point of view. Please read Mr John Leung Chung-Yin's blog first so that what follows may make sense.

Thank you, John Leung Chung-Yin. I took your challenge to re-think separation from Canada. Like you, I took an imaginary journey 100 years into the future of an Alberta that remained in Canada. Come with me as we re-trace those steps that you took recently.
As we drive gingerly along the pot-hole infested Trans-Canada Highway westbound from Saskatchewan, we stop first at the frontier town of Medicine Hat, which is a rather desolate place. The town, once a booming metropolis, lies in ruins like the rest of the province decimated by the Kyoto carbon tax. Now, it seems nobody is here. We decide to stop at a greasy spoon before hitting the road. We see a senior citizen hooked up to an IV machine, with a tag “Health Canada, the world’s only single tier medical care system” attached to it. His clothes are ragged, as he gets up.
The waitress hands him the bill for his breakfast: a simple cup of coffee and a slice of toast. The old man's eyes bulge at the bill with its Equalization Tax and 25%GST. He begins to groan about how his grandparents could afford food with their pensions and savings before the federal government confiscated all their money to form the “Canada First pension system” which ensures that everyone gets an identical amount. The old man continues to whine that now, even though a doctor's visit is free the waiting time is months or years and the service is abysmal. He still needs a kidney, which he will receive free in three years, if he is still alive when he reaches the front of the list. The technology is 20 years old and the success rate is about ½ that of current European and American procedures. “Too bad I’m not a politician I could get a state-of-the-art operation in New York paid for by the government,” laments the old man.
Feeling bad, we turn a blind eye to the seniors, and continue to drive down Highway 1, which has been dubbed the Paul Martin Expressway running from Redcliff to the entry gates to Banff National Park which is now restricted to those approved by Environment Canada. The countryside along the road is filled with rustling grass occupying some of the space where oil and gas wells once stood. The wells are long defunct after the imposition of the 200% Kyoto tax. Solar and wind energy, while costing twice the price of hydrocarbon before the tax was applied, are constantly in short supply and always unreliable. Alberta was unable to take advantage of the Heritage Trust fund and other oil and gas revenue because of the confiscation of all natural resources and provincial savings as a result of the National Security and Equitable Sharing Bill.
The world’s second largest reserve of oil remains locked in the oil sands near Fort McMurray, but it’s now illegal to mine any new leases and the tax rate on the existing facilities has rendered them uneconomic. Little oil has been sent to Alberta’s two primary customers, the rest of Canada and the U.S. following the implementation of the Kyoto bill. It's now almost impossible to see any evidence of the oil and gas industry. Their world-leading environmental standards enabled them to mitigate any impact on the environment and all leases and pipeline right-of-ways have been returned to pre-development quality.
Finally, we arrive in Calgary...once compared to Toronto with the statistics to boot in terms of corporate headquarters and such. Actually, it wasn't such a long drive after all: the city had expanded in the last hundred years. At its boom, it reached all the way out to Chestermere in the east, Cochrane in the west, De Winton in the south, and Carstairs in the north, and boasted a population of well over 1.5 million, before Ottawa nationalized all natural resource and taxed the oil and gas industry out of business.
We drive through downtown...ah, good old downtown. Parking is plentiful now, even on a weekday. Office space is dirt cheap here, since many of the buildings are empty. Now, only dust and abandoned furniture occupy these places. There was no choice. Those with entrepreneurial spirits moved to the Caribbean or the United States. Others applied for employment insurance or other forms of government assistance but were refused because Alberta has been permanently classified as a ‘have province.’ A Constitutional amendment was passed requiring 50% of all revenue to be sent to Ottawa without any transfer payments being returned, is still intact. A further Constitutional change that would declare all provinces equal continues to be blocked by Ontario.
The province is landlocked. Nominal amounts of oil and gas are shipped out. All of Canada’s wheat is purchased from Ukraine and Argentina because huge government subsidies in those countries make it much cheaper than Alberta wheat. Alberta beef is banned in Canada because of an incident of Mad Cow disease 52 years ago. Transport costs both in and out of the province are borne by the province as a result of the “If Alberta Wants To Deal With Ontario They Have To Pay Both Ways Bill” passed in 2044.
With a well educated, technical work-force, tremendous natural resources and a population the size of New Zealand, Switzerland or Singapore, Alberta provided a great attraction for foreign investment before foreign investment was banned and natural resources nationalized.
Alberta’s level of education continues to fall as mandatory social engineering and political correctness classes replace science, economics and history classes. The universities have had their science and engineering programs cut back so much that both the University of Alberta and University of Calgary had to convert their laboratories and research centres into daycares, government sponsored art studios and centres for researching ways to replace social conservatism with the political thinking of the liberal elite.
Returning on our way in our solar powered, government subsidized car, we enter the Queen Elizabeth II Highway. The condition of the highway is deplorable. Despite the fact that over 90% of the cost of fuel is road tax, no transfer payments for infrastructure have been received by Alberta from Ottawa this century. The farms along the sides of the road are lush and overgrown. Marketing of farm products except by government marketing boards is illegal. Quotas are determined in Ottawa and are based on a blend of factors including support for the governing party. Alberta receives approximately 15% of the national average. The fallacy of human-caused global warming has long been realized by nations around the world. The Kyoto Accord is now a mere footnote in history books. Temperature variation is almost universally understood and accepted to be the result of naturally occurring cycles. The government in Ottawa however continues to hold to the position that Canada can single-handedly stop global warming through the management of natural resources over which they maintain full control. The central and northern part of the province has an over-abundance of water which cannot be used because of federal constraints on its use.
We are unable to get to Edmonton because the highway has been declared unsafe until repairs have been made.
So what have we learned from this journey? Perhaps what I have just written is overly optimistic, but it could happen if we irresponsibly decide to continue in our current relationship with Canada. Being happy with the federal government is one thing, but to say that we ought to stay is, to steal a catchy phrase from John Leung Chung-Yin, “simply stupid”. Alberta is very able to stand alone now, and it will only get better once we get out from under the hob-nailed boots of Ottawa. If we don’t it could get as grim as the Alberta I have just pictured.