Since at least 1905, probably long before, the relationship between the West (North West Territory and Rupert’s Land plus arguably the BC Interior & North) has been an uneasy, unequal and unfair exercise in colonial exploitation, in the view of many.
The West has bountiful resources: vast territories rich with boreal forests, rich fertile soil for agriculture, mineral and petroleum deposits and a population descended from hardy pioneers who braved bleak unfriendly elements to tame this burgeoning wilderness ripe for potential sustainable growth and wealth creation. Hard work invested in its future ensured its success.
The East saw this potential and exploited it by crafting a model of Confederation that would guarantee the dominance of the East over the West, politically and economically. Societally? Perhaps not since the West, from its inception, has always maintained its own unique character and resolve.
The flagrant disregard for creating a fair, just role for the West in the current Confederation model has been an irritant to Westerners since the beginning of their uneasy, unstable marriage to the East.
The political and economic disparities have only grown worse as time progresses. So reality begs the question.
IS IT TIME?
Does the current Westerner have the political will to pursue a path of self-determination?
Do the increasingly draconian regulatory job-killing Bills spewing from Ottawa (including Bill C-69) have the impetus to drive Westerners to act?
Do Western Provinces have the resolve and political will to reclaim Constitutionally enshrined authorities and responsibilities in the best interests of their own citizens? Examples include income tax, pensions, health care, policing, firearms and environmental oversight, for those unfamiliar with the Constitutional Powers granted to the Provinces.
Most importantly, perhaps – Does the West have the political allies, with effective leadership, to mount a meaningful, focused, successful assault on the disparate, unfair distribution of power and policies unjustly punishing Westerners?
Is Maverick Party, the re-branded Wexit Canada registered federal party, potentially the federal party based in the West that can succeed where others (including Reform Party) have failed – mostly because those other entities did not remain true to their roots?
Is the Wildrose Independence Party in Alberta capable of reclaiming provincial rights and authorities abrogated to Ottawa without sufficient compensation?
Is the Buffalo Party in Saskatchewan capable of reclaiming those similar provincial rights and authorities in its home province?
Does BC, specifically the Interior and North, have the appetite for the same kind of political movement and, if so, where is the BC provincial party that will champion the re-assertion of provincial powers?
Does Manitoba, similar to BC, have a political movement that is focused on regaining and reclaiming provincial authorities?
Does the North have the appetite to join its southern neighbours in taking on Ottawa and the current power structure?
Finally, and most importantly, are enough Westerners and Northerners sufficiently aware of how badly they are being treated and, if so, are they angry enough (perhaps hurting enough) now in 2020 to actually support the political forces necessary to allow for Western self-determination?
You are the Voice of the West. Make your thoughts and your views known for the benefit of all who share in your concern for creating a fair, equitable future for you and your loved ones.