The Emancipation of the West
A History Lesson
“I was dismayed to learn how bitterly anti-British LaForest was and how clearly he stated his position that he would do everything possible to advance the position of French-speaking Canadians over English-speaking Canadians.”
Robert S. Matheson, Q.C.
[Gerard LaForest was Dean of Law at the UofA, and later Justice on the SCC]
Back in 1988 I was all for the West Wants In as a candidate for the Reform Party of Canada but now some 33 years later I’m struggling with the future of Western Canada within the Canadian federation. Ever since Confederation, the West has been nothing but a cash cow for the Eastern Establishment.
Rupert’s Land was purchased from the Hudson’s Bay Company for a pittance and right away the federal government moved in on the Métis settlers even before the ink was dry. The intrusion on Métis lands caused Louis Riel to step on the surveyor’s chain stopping further subdivision of the west. Initially the feds had planned to create 800 acre sections of land but in returning to Ottawa it was decided that more settlers and hence eventually more revenue would come to the federal coffers if they reduced the size to 640 acres or one square mile. That revenue went into federal coffers but little was used to benefit the new settlers.
As the west was settled and Frederick Haultain became the leader of the provisional government for the Northwest Territories, he fought tooth and nail to get sufficient funds from Ottawa to maintain basic government services and finally provincial status for Saskatchewan and Alberta. Ottawa ignored his recommendations and the Liberal government at the time even denied Haultain, a staunch liberal, an interim premiership.
In 1904, shortly before Alberta became a province, Liberal Member of Parliament, Clifford Sifton, from Manitoba stated “We desire, and all Canadian Patriots [referring only to easterners] desire that the great trade [wealth] of the prairies shall go to enrich our people in the east, to build up our factories and our places of work, and in every legitimate way contribute to our [the east] prosperity”
Just as Sifton predicted, ever since Alberta and Saskatchewan became provinces we were robbed of the right of ownership of our natural resources. Finally, after a 25 year struggle, ownership of our natural resources became a reality in 1930.
Ownership of those resources was a godsend in 1947 when Leduc #1 blew in and enhanced the provincial treasuries making the west the envy of Ottawa and Central Canada. But despite the fact that Alberta was generous in loaning money to eastern provinces and generously sharing our wealth, along comes Pierre Trudeau with the National Energy Policy denying us world prices for our oil.
But worse still Trudeau had a hidden agenda to slowly but surely convert our once capitalist society into a socialist state and handing over the balance of power to French speaking bureaucrats. Western Canada was asleep at the switch when he brought in bilingualism. “Official bilingualism is not about language” as Peter Brimelow stresses in The Patriot Game, “official bilingualism is about political power.” And political power has transformed Canada into a French state run by a French bureaucratic regime.
By repatriating the Constitution from Britain and passing the 1982 Constitution Act, and the Charter of Rights, Pierre Trudeau, with Gerard LaForest as the principal draftsman of the Liberal proposals for constitutional change, transformed forever our system of government, weakening parliamentary democracy by passing the legislative torch to the judiciary.
As Secretary of State Serge Joyal said, “Everything we undertake and everything we are doing to make Canada a French state is part of a venture I have shared for many years with a number of people . . . The idea, the challenge, of making Canada a French country both inside and outside Québec . . . is something a little beyond the ordinary imagination.”
Beyond the ordinary imagination is right, and beyond the realization of English Canada. William Gairdner sums it up nicely in The Trouble With Canada . . . Still when he says: He [Trudeau] wanted to convert our bottom-up, common law-based, piecemeal – and yes, intentionally checkerboard Confederation - into as unitary a State as possible in the monistic French style. And further “the Charter has subjugated the provinces and made them internal colonies of Ottawa.”
As former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney once said: “It is the French dimension of our national personality that constitutes the soul of Canada.”
The West has less than a third of the seats in the House of Commons, less than a quarter of the seats in the Senate and Québec has a guarantee of a third of the seats on the Supreme Court of Canada. Federal elections are decided before Western Canadians have a chance to count the votes. Ottawa continues to treat the Western Provinces as colonies of the Eastern Establishment.
The French may have lost the battle on the Plains of Abraham but they have won the battle for the francization of Canada.
And now with Trudeau Jr. denying access to shipping bitumen from the West coast and supporting Québec in denying pipelines to the east coast the West is toast!
The WEST wants OUT!
A former St. Albert Alderman and MLA and a charter member of the Reform Party and inaugural candidate in 1988