Opinion: Western representatives should demand action from Ottawa

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But Canada is not a functioning federation. In fact, since the drop in oil prices in 2014, the federal government has put its foot on the throat of Canada’s largest industry with regulations that are not only regionally disparate, but obviously targeted, and intended to destroy.

Ottawa wants the hydrocarbon sector dead. The speech from the throne reflects that in an absence of words. Not a word on how to get Fort McMurray working again. Not a word on plans to increase export capacity. Not a word of support or a dollar pledged for workers and families dependant on good, paying jobs in the energy sector who have been left un- or under-employed.

Westerners should not be surprised. We should be outraged. In a world heavily dependent on oil, Alberta supplies the most green and ethical oil on the planet. Yet our federal government wants that sector dead, so it can revel in self-righteousness, fawn over Greta Thunberg, while increasing market share for Venezuela, Saudi Arabia and Nigeria. Not to mention the U.S. oil industry, laughing at Canada all the way to the bank.

Ottawa also wants our taxes, big time. Scholars have pointed out that in addition to the equalization program, Canada has a fiscal stabilization program. At least on the books. But has Ottawa made any move to allow that program to actually flow dollars into Alberta and Saskatchewan at a time of record economic decline? Of course not. It’s time to take all this personally.

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