Wondering about Wexit

Connecting the Dots

As I read about Wexit, the group organized to press for Western independence, I am concerned.

Yes, I know … drop the carbon tax, build the pipeline, restructure transfers to and from the federal coffers. I get that.

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Lest you think this is a hurrah for Wexit, read on.

I am the West, as a firmly rooted Manitoban. But I am also Ottawa. I’ve walked the hallowed halls and watched parliament in session.

I have an eastern seaport and family living beside that seaport at Halifax. I have a western seaport where our wheat and other commodities are loaded in the Burrard Inlet, Port of Vancouver. I was nearly swamped one afternoon by a huge freighter while cruising that inlet in a rented boat.

The colour-coded map of Canada on Oct. 22 showing an ocean of blue flanked by red and orange would be fertile ground for Wexit. Politically divided, we are, but I want to reiterate Premier Brian Pallister’s comment on the day after the election: “Good relationships aren’t built on threats to leave.”

Can’t our premier, in league with other Western premiers hold the Trudeau government accountable if they work together? Pallister pointed out that Quebec has held separation over Canada’s head for too long and said we need to work together on this national relationship.

While attending the Remembrance Day service in Kenton, Elsie Dickenson, minister for the occasion, pointed out that it wasn’t reporters who won the freedom of the press, it was soldiers. True. What do we do with that privilege? I believe in the power of print and when I read a Wexit article this week, I had to speak.

Putting together our commemorative edition of Remembrance and attending several Remembrance services stirred up my loyal bones! We sang our national anthem. We sang God Save the Queen. (Great Britain is now our grandmother, of sorts;and some school students don’t really know this anthem, by the way!)

Canada was founded “from sea to sea”. Neither Prime Minister Trudeau nor Wexit-ers have any right to take this nation apart.

In a piece from the Wexit Alberta Tribune, the author quotes Sir Clifford Sifton, Canada’s Minister of the Interior in 1896. He apparently said that the wealth of the prairies would contribute to “our own people in the East.”

I have been unable to locate that quote. But a quick read of history tells you politics was messy then, that has not changed.

No matter the motivation behind the baby’s conception, Alberta was formed out of the North West Territories with the help of this ambitious Liberal nation builder’s aggressive immigration efforts.

Now, another Liberal, Prime MinisterTrudeau, has an opportunity to continue as a nation builder and put things right between east and west.

There was no way, short of Divine revelation, that Canada’s founders could see the powerhouse that the Prairies has become, or foresee the West’s sense of alienation. So just leave that to bad parenting. Paternalism.

Today, Alberta, you are my joy, with many family members there, and Jasper and Banff National Parks.

The Prairies, the West, are grown children. Look for the right national solution and make this country better.

© Virden Empire-Advance

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