Sign in to follow this  
Marshall

Marching On, Under a minority Government

Recommended Posts

Firstly, I am against any thought of separation by any Province. However .....  

What Albertans can expect now that a Liberal minority has been re-elected

Albertans once again voted overwhelmingly for the Conservatives in Monday's federal election — all but ensuring they won't be front of mind for the new minority Liberal government. 

Majority of Albertans opted once again for the Conservatives, giving Liberals little incentive to curry favour

 
drew-anderson.jpg
Drew Anderson · CBC News · Posted: Oct 21, 2019 8:40 PM MT | Last Updated: 8 hours ago
 
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney has said it would be difficult to work with a Justin Trudeau-led Liberal government. (Left: Dave Chidley/The Canadian Press. Right: Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press)

Albertans once again voted overwhelmingly for the Conservatives in Monday's federal election — all but ensuring they won't be front of mind for the new minority Liberal government.

That's just the hard political truth of minority governments. 

"Regional politics becomes critical but it's a very crude sort of regional politics. 'Where are the seats that I can win to produce a majority government?'" said University of Calgary political scientist Anthony Sayers.

 

No doubt, Justin Trudeau and his re-elected party will first try to please voters in Ontario. Then Quebec. Then B.C. Then, in rough order, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, P.E.I., Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Yukon and Saskatchewan.

Finally, stubbornly conservative Alberta.

What will matter more than Monday's results, however, are the agreements made among the various parties that will prop up a Liberal minority and under what conditions. It is these agreements that will determine just what impact the election will have on Alberta.

Even so, the odds that the next government will fulfil Albertans' fondest wishes by booting the tanker ban on a portion of the West Coast, ditching the federal carbon tax and repealing the Liberals' environmental review legislation are likely non-existent.

What now?

First, a note to the reader. 

This will be written as though Alberta is a sort of monolith. That's because the majority vote Conservative, and so it's assumed Albertans are conservative and all want the same thing. Despite the stereotypes, that's not true. 

 

That said, the majority view and the attendant conservative policies will be taken as a de facto classification for what Alberta wants — and that means, generally, these things are paramount.

Pipelines.

Energy.

The economy.

So, what's likely to happen in the coming days and weeks?

Trudeau's party could form official coalitions with any one of the other four parties with seats, meaning a cabinet with members from the Liberals and whoever else has signed on. 

While common in the rest of the democratic world, in Canada a coalition is rare and unlikely. 

More likely is some form of agreement between the Liberals and one or more other parties that essentially says they'll support the government in confidence votes to keep it in power, but might defeat separate bills. 

That can be formalized, or a bit more back-of-the-napkin in nature. 

Stephen Harper managed to get quite a bit done while managing two consecutive Conservative minorities from 2006 to 2011 — mainly by making agreements on the fly, on issues like the current equalization formula and boutique tax breaks. 

Currently, there are plenty of matters on the minds of the majority of Albertans, from equalization payments that redistribute wealth across Canada, to what to do about the continued stagnation of Alberta's oil patch. Perhaps top of the list: the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. 

Coalitions and partnerships will have a profound effect on what's discussed and how it's dealt with, if at all. 

What happens to pipelines?

Despite having the highest incomes in the country, unemployment remains stubbornly high in Alberta compared to the rest of Canada and it's becoming clear that the boom times and oil and gas jobs that produced staggering wealth in the province aren't likely to return to pre-oil crash levels. 

That has produced anger and anxiety in the province. 

Many of the policies that Albertans have blamed for the continued downturn, however, are unlikely to change after Monday's election. 

 
trans-mountain-20190821.jpg
Stacks of steel pipes that would form the Trans Mountain pipeline if the project moves forward. (Jason Franson/The Canadian Press)

The Trans Mountain pipeline, which the Liberals purchased for $4.5 billion, is tied up in the courts, but it's difficult to imagine Trudeau killing it. 

Despite opposition to pipelines, Sayers doesn't think the federal New Democrats would force the matter if they helped prop up the Liberal minority.

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh said during the campaign that any party looking to partner up would have to consider the NDP's a series of priorities in order to work together: creating universal pharmacare, investing in housing, waiving interest on student loans, committing to reduce emissions, ending subsidies for oil companies and delivering aid to oilpatch workers to transition them to a new economy, increasing taxes on the wealthiest Canadians and closing tax loopholes, and reducing cellphone bills. 

Missing from his demands were any mention of pipelines and Trans Mountain in particular, despite his opposition to the project. 

Then, there's the separatist Bloc Québécois.

Of course, Alberta and Quebec often see eye to eye when it comes to more power for the provinces. But the Bloc is also antagonistic to pipelines. It wants the federal government to sell the Trans Mountain pipeline and wants to see strong legislation on the environment.

"If the Bloc is holding the balance of power and they're solely interested in Quebec's interests, who are the biggest recipients of equalization, you know, that's a very different calculation than even if the NDP is holding the balance of power," said pollster Janet Brown.

Unlikely to happen is repeal of Bill C-69, which clarifies what is required for approval of major industrial projects. Opponents like Alberta Premier Jason Kenney decry it as the "no more pipelines act." The province has mounted a constitutional challenge against the legislation. 

Also unlikely? Repeal of Bill C-48, which bans tanker traffic on a stretch of Canada's West Coast, but wouldn't affect Trans Mountain. 

'An elite-driven narrative'

All of that will surely contribute to the overheated anger and rhetoric in Alberta, but what could be done to calm it?

In a word: not much. 

Alberta has long relished flinging mud at the Laurentian elites of Central Canada. It's a storied pastime, not without merit, to grumble about the province's lot in Confederation. 

There have been political upswells, from the socialist prairie populists angry at the price of grain and the railways to the more recent rise of the Reform Party (which morphed and merged into the Conservative Party of Canada).

 
manning.jpg
Preston Manning, the former leader of the Reform Party in 1991. (Ron Polingé/The Canadian Press)

Now the anger is more nebulous and, according to political scientist Melanee Thomas from the University of Calgary, stoked by political parties for short-term gain. 

"This is an elite-driven narrative," she said. 

"The prize with this particular election now, where it's kind of like what can we say that will basically be the message for 2019 that will help us win both elections? And a lot of this is just: these people are against Alberta."

In the end, the narrative worked for the Alberta election and the federal one. 

But that kind of genie bottle is difficult to recork.

'Nebulous' populism

University of Alberta political scientist Jared Wesley said he's not sure a Conservative federal government can meet the "nebulous demands of the Western populist movement."

He researches campaign rhetoric in the west and how leaders in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta present themselves in relation to the rest of Canada. 

He says the feeling in his focus groups has shifted from Alberta being held back to the province being left behind by Canada and the rest of the world. 

"That starts to bring in feelings and sentiment — worry, anxiety, alienation, resentment, rage — that we've seen in other parts of the world, including the United States," he said. 

According to Wesley, the rust belt states like Michigan where the primary industry has collapsed could provide a more realistic parallel for Alberta than Texas. 

The question is whether anyone, or any party, can fix what ails Alberta and its main source of income.

Wesley sees regionalism and partisanship melding "into a really potent force."

 
67.jpg
Pro-oil and gas supporters took to the streets in Calgary as Federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau speaks to the Economic Club of Canada about the 2019 federal budget in March. (Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press)

That kind of thinking and the divisiveness that has been exposed by the recent campaign and the years leading up to it, all point to one thing: the need for a national vision and someone capable of inspiring the regions to band together. 

Who, and what, can achieve that?

National vision

This is the part of the narrative that requires the little shrugging emoji. 

Sayers says there are no policies on the table that could become the great unifier. Instead, he argues it has to be a metaphysical plea for a Canada that is stronger together.

"I think between now and the next election, which I assume will happen pretty quickly, it's going to be pretty tumultuous and there's not an obvious [unifying force] other than the claim that we are better off together than we are divided," he said.

"And I'm not sure who is capable amongst the current crop of leaders to really pursue that vision."

It will also be difficult for the current Alberta government to work with any minority government that doesn't have the Conservatives at the head. 

Kenney has campaigned for federal Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer's party in Ontario, Manitoba and Alberta, and has openly said it would be difficult to work with another Trudeau-led government. 

He has threatened to hold a referendum on equalization — a legally non-binding exercise — if bills C-69 and C-48 aren't tossed and a pipeline built. 

Heck, his party sent out an email telling supporters they should protest Trudeau's visit to Calgary last Saturday night.

Meanwhile, if Quebec feels shorted, it could ratchet up separatist sentiment. 

Sayers hopes the election provides a moment of pause where Canadians realize they can't keep going down the route they're going and that big conversations come from that pause. 

"Politicians have seen the writing on the wall, that if we don't work together here, things are going to look pretty nasty," he said. 

"And that's the moment, it's like the '95 referendum and these things, that I think we'll be looking for a moment of 'gee, you know, if we carry on allowing this fragmentation to get worse, we will end up in a really bad spot."

About the Author

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Minority status of the Liberals does open up the possibility of election reform if the other parties can agree on the type etc. and use their Majority status to vote for a change.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The press for whatever reason is screaming about Western Separation because of the election results.  Well my friends and neighbors are not but of course most of them have lived through a number of elections and know that if the East puts their votes to the Liberals or the Conservatives, that is the way it will be no matter how the rest of Canada votes.  This time around, there is some home for change in that those who stand in opposition to the Minority Liberal Gov. may be successful in getting our voting procedures changed ( you know the very thing that Justin said he would do) 😀 I for one am not holding my breath in anticipation.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Marshall said:

I hope not.  

If you want to read and “feel” how upset people are in Saskatchewan and Alberta, and now Manitoba... anonymously join a Facebook group called.  VoteWexit.com  

or go to their web site    https://wexitalberta.com/stay-updated.html

Facebook is where all the action is.

It’s downright scary how **bleep** people are at Ontario for giving The Liberals the election. Read the comments. 

A few weeks ago there were only forty thousand members. Since the election it has exploded to over 184,000. Not Good !!
 

From what I can gather their aim is to start a political party in Alberta akin to the BQ in Quebec.

Facebook is getting Involved.

OUR UPDATES:
 

October 20, 2019 - 2:00pm

Our Facebook page has received a notification from Facebook that we have been restricted. The notification states, "Limits have been placed on Wexit Alberta. Stories from your Page are not being shown in News Feed. This could be due to activities from your Page that don't comply with Facebook's policies." When clicking to find out what policies we have not complied with, or which post broke the policies, no information is given. We are not the only Page/Group that has received these notices. Numerous other Alberta-based (as far as we know) Groups have received the same notices. The common thread among these Pages/Groups are that we all share pro-Western Independence content. Why is Facebook restricting our content one day before the federal election? What happened to free speech in Canada... it appears to be dead. All the more reason to Wexit this broken Confederation.

 

https://www.facebook.com/100009477631122/videos/2470982453227652/

 

Edited by Jaydee

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Jaydee, the vocal minority are exactly that and the moderate / conservative majority will ensure that there is no separation from the rest of Canada. There will be a lot of crying and complaint but to little avail. The majority, and I hope I am in that group, will work with our elected officials to bring about change in our electoral system and under a minority government that is possible.  

Re the Bloc, other an causing lots of debate in the house, do they really have any power?  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Marshall said:

Re the Bloc, other an causing lots of debate in the house, do they really have any power?  

Bloc votes in Quebec have power because they diminish the number of LIB ridings.  A similar situation in Alberta would take ridings away from the CONs and are therefore much less powerful - similar to the Reform days.  Reform votes diminished the CONs power in government and were therefore detrimental.

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
47 minutes ago, Wolfhunter said:

“ Among the most ludicrous of campaign pitches, and there were so many to choose from, was the latter-day lunacy that if you, the voter, wanted to save the planet, you had to vote Liberal. The hubris in that claim was equal to its idiocy.

Canadian elections are not about the world. It is not ours to save, or (all deference to Greta the Grinch) to destroy. Canadian elections are about Canada, how to make it better, stronger, more healthful and secure for its citizens. They are — or should be — exercises where party leaders refresh our sense of Canada’s aspirations and ideals as a country, a nation.“

 

The juvenile and reckless policies of the amateur Trudeau government — a government of butterflies in its early yoga and selfies days — has brought the country to a terrible pass, where the only elements that really count in a nation — its cohesion, its sense of common endeavour, of all its parts and regions acting on the great issues in concert, as one — these elements are shattered.“

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Marshall said:

Jaydee, the vocal minority are exactly that and the moderate / conservative majority will ensure that there is no separation from the rest of Canada. There will be a lot of crying and complaint but to little avail. The majority, and I hope I am in that group, will work with our elected officials to bring about change in our electoral system and under a minority government that is possible.  

Re the Bloc, other an causing lots of debate in the house, do they really have any power?  

Say what you will, either right or wrong, but the group grew by more than 30,000 since I posted late last night. 210,000 this morning. It’s growing faster than a Prairie wildfire

Edited by Jaydee

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Alberta and Sask Seperate.  then what?  They build a pipline that ends directly on the border of BC and Manitoba.  2 landlocked provinces have no method of getting anything to market except across the southern border. They don't want it, at least at market prices.

The Conservatives and the Liberals are going to have to work together for a change to do whats best for Canada.

Unfortunately a Liberal minority is the single best thing that could have happened.  A Conservative Majority would have been as bad or worse than a Liberal one.

It's time for the parties, ALL parties to start working for Canada. Period.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, boestar said:

It's time for the parties, ALL parties to start working for Canada. Period.

Absolutely correct, but unfortunately a Fantasy.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
47 minutes ago, Jaydee said:

Say what you will, either right or wrong, but the group grew by more than 30,000 since I posted late last night. 210,000 this morning. It’s growing faster than a Prairie wildfire

The web site couldn’t keep up with the demand.

B1F818E0-B087-42DD-A397-93B8423C701C.jpeg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Write to your MP and express your dissatisfaction with his/her performance then.

I have spoken to my MP on a few occasions.  Pretty good guy.  I voted for him.  I didnt vote for Trudeau.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Maybe the answer is for other provinces to enter into deals with US States or even other countries such as the following:  Did Quebec have any approval from the Government of Canada for this deal or was it necessary?

Western Climate Initiative, Inc. (WCI, Inc.) is a non-profit corporation formed to provide administrative and technical services to support the implementation of state and provincial greenhouse gas emissions trading programs.
California sued by Trump administration over climate pact with Quebec
By Lisa Lambert, Timothy Gardner and Sarah N. Lynch Reuters
Posted October 23, 2019 8:40 am
 
 

WASHINGTON — The United States on Wednesday sued California and other entities in the state for entering an agreement with Quebec in 2013 to control emissions linked to climate change, saying the state had no right to conduct foreign policy.

“The state of California has veered outside of its proper constitutional lane to enter into an international emissions agreement. The power to enter into such agreements is reserved to the federal government, which must be able to speak with one voice in the area of U.S. foreign policy,” said Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey Bossert Clark said in a statement.

Bloc Québécois bounces back with 32 seats, regains official party status

The Justice Department said California, state officials, the California Air Resources Board, and the Western Climate Initiative Inc entered into a complex, integrated cap-and-trade program with Quebec in 2013 without congressional approval.

In cap and trade markets, governments set a steadily declining limit on emissions, and polluters that cut emissions quickly can sell credits to others that need more time. The pact between California and Quebec is called the Western Climate Initiative.

In its latest confrontation with California over the state’s aggressive approach to combat air pollution and climate change, U.S. President Donald Trump‘s administration is arguing that the constitution prohibits states from making treaties or pacts with foreign powers.

Trump, a Republican who questions the science behind climate change, has eased regulations on the oil, gas and coal industries and intends to pull the United States out of the 2015 Paris agreement on climate change.

Last month, the Trump administration sent a letter to Governor Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, accusing the state of violating clean water laws.

Hundreds of former U.S. Environmental Protection Agency employees are urging a congressional probe into whether the agency’s feud with California represents retaliation for the state’s failure to support Trump’s political agenda.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A NATION DIVIDED

‘FRUSTRATION AND ALIENATION’ SMOULDERING LIKE A PRAIRIE FIRE

  • Calgary Herald
  • 23 Oct 2019
  • JESSE SNYDER AND MAURA FORREST in Ottawa
img?regionKey=QBNX%2bXjd4rzz0cm11sxjkQ%3d%3d  

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney warned of deepening Western resentments on Tuesday, following a federal election that sharpened divides between the Prairies and Ottawa and laid the groundwork for a potentially raucous parliamentary session this winter.

“If the frustration and alienation in Alberta continues to mount, it will pose a very serious challenge to national unity,” Kenney said, repeating earlier warnings about rising separatist sentiments in the province.

Kenney said he would launch a panel of experts to consult with Albertans about how to “better assert fairness in the federation” as distrust toward Ottawa’s environmental policies grows. Kenney on Tuesday said he spoke with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau about potential deals the province could strike with Ottawa as a way to ensure the expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline, potentially including a higher tax on the province’s heavy emitters.

“This relationship needs some good faith from Ottawa, and if it doesn’t get that I feel that alienation is going to go in a very problematic direction,” Kenney said.

Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe said the federal election results confirm there’s a fire of frustration burning in Western Canada and it’s time for a new deal with Ottawa.

“The path our federal government has been on the last four years has divided our nation,” Moe said in a statement.

“Last night’s election results showed the sense of frustration and alienation in Saskatchewan is now greater than it has been at any point in my lifetime.”

On Monday, Trudeau eked out a narrow minority government on Monday, dropping from 184 seats in 2015 to 157. The result marked the lowest share of the overall vote ever won by a winning party, and stoked new fears that Ottawa was losing touch both with Prairie provinces and with Quebec.

All but one of the 48 seats in Alberta and Saskatchewan went to the Conservatives, while the Bloc Québécois surged from 10 seats in 2015 to 32 as regional alliances appeared to firm up.

“Canadians woke up this morning to a more divided country,” Conservative leader Andrew Scheer said.

In his post election speech, Trudeau sidestepped much of the separatist angst felt by some portions of the country, saying the Liberals had won a “clear mandate” to govern.

He said he would work to “ensure that the voice of Quebec can be heard even more in Ottawa” after his election win. His message to Alberta and Saskatchewan, which he called an “essential part of our great country,” was slightly more subdued: “I’ve heard your frustration and I want to be there to support you,” he said.

Trudeau’s election win comes amid a growing sense of Western alienation in Alberta over frustrations in the province’s battered oil and gas sector. Years of regulatory and legal wrangling has snarled major pipeline projects like the Trans Mountain expansion, forcing many producers to sell their oil at steep discounts and bleeding hundreds of billions in lost revenues.

Following the establishment of a minority Liberal government propped up by the NDP, many in Calgary’s corporate towers are already anxious over whether the Trans Mountain expansion could become a political football this winter.

As of Tuesday evening, well over 150,000 Albertans had signed an online petition that called for the province to separate from the country.

A poll by Angus Reid Group published in January found that 72 per cent of Western Canadians believed they are generally not “treated fairly” by Ottawa, compared to just 49 per cent of Eastern Canadians responding the same way. Alberta led Western provinces with 83 per cent of respondents saying that Ottawa treated their province unfairly.

Fears in the oilpatch were further stoked on Tuesday after news reports emerged that Husky Energy had laid off a number of employees amid years of low oil prices. The company did not specify how many people would lose their jobs as part of the cuts.

Some observers on Tuesday downplayed East-west tensions, saying much of the angst in Alberta over pipeline politics is a failure to recognize much deeper-lying problems, foremost the lack of land agreements with First Nations that have snarled major projects.

Kenney, for his part, roundly rejected the idea of Alberta separatism, saying it would only serve to bar the province from building new infrastructure.

“We’re not going to get one inch closer to a pipeline by closing in on ourselves as a landlocked jurisdiction,” he said.

The resurgence of the Bloc Québécois, meanwhile, is perhaps the starkest example of new regional divisions in Canada, with the sovereigntist party winning 32 of Quebec’s 78 seats on Monday night. The Bloc’s rise all but shut the NDP out of Quebec, leaving the New Democrats with a single seat in Montreal.

Bloc Leader Yves-françois Blanchet has portrayed his party as the true defender of Quebec values, and reiterated his promise on election night to work only toward advancing Quebec’s interests in Ottawa. “If what is proposed is good for Quebec, you can count on us,” he told supporters. But if not, “the Bloc will stand in the way.”

Blanchet has been clear that the Bloc will not push for Quebec independence in the immediate future. But his priorities will no doubt include insisting that Ottawa not get involved in a legal challenge of Bill 21, Quebec’s controversial secularism law, and seeking more autonomy for Quebec on immigration and other matters.

A strong Bloc presence in Parliament could further exacerbate tensions with the West, as the party is adamant that no new pipeline will be built through Quebec, and opposes the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. “The Bloc Québécois will be collaborative, unless it’s a question of transporting more oil across the country,” Blanchet said during his speech Monday night.

Bloc MP Rhéal Fortin, a former interim leader, said the other parties are hampered by having to appeal to voters across the country with different priorities, while the Bloc focuses only on Quebec. “They want to please their voters in the West with pipelines … while here in Quebec, we say no,” he told reporters on Monday. “People want to be represented by people who understand them, who represent their values.”

Mcgill University political scientist Daniel Béland told the National Post last week that the Bloc Québécois’ rise is partly due to a sense that “Quebec and francophones are under attack.” He referred to Kenney’s attacks on the federal equalization program and Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s cuts to francophone services. Quebecers have also been sensitive to outside criticism of Bill 21, which is popular in the province.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Only a brilliant mind would vote to separate a landlocked Provinve(s) from the country.  your main source of revenue would then have ZERO ways of getting to market.  which would put you in a worse position than you are now.  smart thinking that.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 minutes ago, boestar said:

Only a brilliant mind would vote to separate a landlocked Provinve(s) from the country.  your main source of revenue would then have ZERO ways of getting to market.  which would put you in a worse position than you are now.  smart thinking that.

 

As I stated before I would be against separation but your premise re the movement of goods could def. be wrong.

Quote

Alberta's oil sands provide the majority of Canada's oil production. Approximately 99% of Canadian oil exports go to the US, totaling almost 2000 barrels a day.

According to the B.C. government, 55 per cent of the province's gasoline and 71 per cent of its diesel is imported from Alberta pipelines.

 90% or so of the goods that land in the port of Vancouver, travel east through Alberta and Saskatchewan, I suspect there would be some leverage that could be applied.  You know..... Let our exports move and we will allow your traffic to pass through or perhaps not tax the hell out of it at our border crossings..  😀  And of course an independent Alberta could also turn off the pipeline to BC  Oil can reroute through the US or perhaps even the Hudson Bay. through perhaps a friendly Manitoba. 

Separation would be nasty for all involved.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this