Division happens with any election. Saskatchewan and Alberta saw some stark ones as compared to the rest of Canada in the most recent public contest of national direction.
However, there weren’t too many Liberal and NDP members of Parliament in those provinces to begin with, so dropping a few more appears to be over-interpreted as a sign that the West-wants-out or that the federal government doesn’t serve western needs. It just doesn’t serve all western needs, the same way it doesn’t serve all of Quebec’s needs.
All of Western Canada has 96 MPs, versus Ontario’s 121 and Quebec’s 78. The West and rural Canadians are heavily outnumbered. Compromise has always been the rule.
I know that the off-the-grid, whale-hugging, electric car piloting, ultra-urbanites aren’t thrilled owning an oil pipeline, permitting the clear-cutting of our forests or allowing the nation’s farmers to spread synthetic fertilizers and that deadly glyphosate on their corporate farms, but there are lot of them.
Despite the demands to the prime minister by Saskatchewan’s and Alberta’s premiers for the suspension of the carbon tax, the reality is in the electoral balance of Parliament. Central and urban Canada hold the reins and western spurs are little more than an irritant.
On the bright side, this Canadian horse is generally pretty good about finding its global trail, even when the riders get lost.
Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe recently sat with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Moe said he reiterated his desire for a suspension of the carbon tax, especially for all things agricultural, and broad support for a national energy-pipeline agenda.
In keeping with Canadian tradition, he had fallback positions. He asked that the carbon tax be suspended for western farmers facing unprecedented grain-drying energy costs, challenging markets and international trade hurdles. He said he thought the PM was listening to that request.
As well, he didn’t want the Transmountain pipeline to be Canada’s last pipeline and asked the government to adopt the Senate’s recommendations related to Bill C-69, also reflecting farmers’ and other industrial needs for rail capacity not choked with oil shipments.
These are the realities of being Canadian. And no, WEXIT isn’t a real thing.