Two weeks into Alberta’s provincial election, the United Conservative Party has released the results of a poll that found “a shocking 50 per cent of Albertans surveyed said they support secession from Canada.” In the news release, UCP leader Jason Kenney said many people in the province support secession from Canada, based on what he calls “a real tension that runs through the hearts of many Albertans.” He said Albertans are proud Canadians, but they will no longer tolerate the rest the country benefiting from the province’s resources while trying to hold back its economy.
The poll results follow the British Columbia government’s effort to pass legislation that would impact the expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline, which runs from Edmonton to Vancouver.
In light of the federal government’s Bill C-69, which would change how projects such as oil and gas pipelines are reviewed, Mr. Kenney said Alberta is “under assault from other governments in Canada” and “We are by far the biggest contributor to the federation. We have always played by the rules, paid our taxes, and produced wealth for other Canadians. And it’s why we need to stand up and fight for a fair deal, a new deal, for Alberta in the Canadian federation.”
He had earlier pledged to hold a referendum on federal equalization payments if his party wins the provincial election on April 16. Last week, Mr. Kenney said a UCP government would hold a referendum on equalization on Oct. 18, 2021 — the same date as the next municipal elections in Alberta — if there is still no progress on pipelines.
Mr. Kenney further said that if he becomes Premier, he will call for Ottawa to cut federal income tax for Albertans equal to the amount of the Canada Health Transfer and Canada Social Transfer, as this would allow Alberta to raise its tax rates to give Albertans more control over their own money.
Further, he pledged a UCP government would seek to form federal and provincial agreement on resource corridors to create pre-approved, guaranteed land corridors for Canadian products.