Bloc War on Alberta: Why the Quebec Separatist Party is Targeting the Western Province
EDMONTON - The federal government is ramping up like petroleum by stepping on oil companies, while Quebec actually produces airplanes and trains, but not gas-powered cars, Bloc in Québeccois.
But as far as anti-Ottawa is concerned, this block is perhaps the clearest anti-Alberta it has ever been in its history. While Alberta and Quebec have worked on common concerns in the past, Bloc sees little in its 2019 iteration that Alberta will take Quebec's money while having pastures on green fields and dirty pipelines.
"The oil provinces are very rich and have developed these resources with money from all over Canada, including Quebec," said Yves-François Blanchet, the Bloc's leader, during a discussion with English leaders. "Now we've paid for oil development in western Canada & nbsp; and made us pay for that idea again to buy the pipeline."
Martha Hall Findlay, president and CEO of the Alberta think tank Canada West Foundation, says "somehow it feels like they had to find a new opponent," now that some of the historical linguistic and economic complaints of separatists have faded. But he said it was unfortunate - Blanchet didn't have to go down.
"Almost half of the oil consumed in Quebec comes from Alberta, so the whistle-blowing Alberta oil industry comes in one breath ... and at that time half of their Alberta oil is hypocritical," she said. "I think this is frankly irresponsible for any politician, but certainly for someone who hopes to represent the Province of Quebec."
In a 24-page short and cute platform, Bloc tells No East and says it's time to stop relying on fossil fuels. This would be achieved, in part, through the so-called Green Equalization, a kind of mega-carbon tax that would impose a tax on provinces with a higher average level of greenhouse gas emissions per capita and then give that money to provinces with lower emissions.
"I was a little shocked when I heard it, and I think it was a clear response to the leveling debate he has received from the people of Alberta," said Duane Bratt, a political scientist at Mount Royal University in Calgary.
The Bloc proposal argues that it is more effective than the current equalization setup and allows for federal and provincial income tax reductions, taking into account lower income burdens. The idea is that this polluter tax would create a shift towards green energy and end the "most polluting oil in the world".
The purpose of balancing is to put public services across the country on an equal footing, giving cash to provinces who do not have it, or who do not. In 2019, Equalization was a $ 19.8 billion program that earned Quebec $ 13.1 billion.
Alberta is getting nothing from the program and Prime Minister Jason Kenney has threatened to call a referendum in 2021 on the equalization formula. Alberta, with a budget deficit of $ 9 billion, still pays for smoothing, while Quebec, with a budget surplus, still receives balancing payments. One reason Quebec continues to receive payments is because its formula does not take into account its rich hydraulic income.
Liberals' leader Justin Trudeau Blanchet said during a French panel discussion on Thursday, "There is a balancing act so that all Canadians across the country, regardless of which province they are born in or live in, have access to the same quality of service. directly across the country. It is not a perfect system, but it is a system that ensures as much as possible a level playing field across Canada. "
And Elizabeth May, leader of the Greens, told the bloc leader: "We have to think like a family. Your proposal, Mr Blanchet, would be to put an extra burden on those parts of Canada like Alberta, which are facing the most difficult challenge of coping with the climate crisis. As Greens, we are worried that we will work together to prevent alienation from Albert. "
Historically, Alberta and Quebec have joined significantly - and even recently. Bratt argued that during the constitutional talks in the 1980s, Alberta Prime Minister Peter Lougheed and Quebec Prime Minister Rene Lermekque were often on the same side in provincial autonomy debates.
"They both want less government invasion, so they often look like strange cribs for the sake of jurisdiction. Quebec nationalists seem to be working well with Albertans," Bratt explained.
Recently, Quebec intervened in a Saskatchewan lawsuit over a federal carbon tax, not because they themselves oppose climate action, but because they are concerned about federal policies that trample on provincial rights. And it comes at a time when the Alberta ruling party, the Kenney Allied Conservatives, is trying to pull a page from Quebec's playbook that Alberta intently strikes against the rest of the country.
Bratt says what has changed is that Alberta, which wants to build pipelines in areas where they are not very popular - Energy East through Quebec and Trans Mountain through British Columbia - is now calling for more federal intervention. Blanchet did indeed mention in the discussion how Quebecer's money went to Kinder Morgan to buy the Trans Mountain pipeline, when it seemed the company could save the project. And he said, "We have paid for oil development in western Canada."
"So, Blanchet responds to Quebecer's views, but I also think he's responsive to much of Jason Kenney's rhetoric about equalization, Energy East, and things like that," Bratt said. "It's not that it came just from the left field, I think it's a direct response back to some of the messages he has heard from Albert."
It is almost impossible for Blanchet to become prime minister after the October 21 elections, but it is possible that his party has a decent presence in Quebec, an official party status in parliament and, in a minority government scenario, could have had some impact on the balance of power.
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