Our quasi-separatist premier insists that her infamous Alberta Sovereignty Act was all about forcing Ottawa to “butt out” of areas that constitutionally belong to Alberta. She has however been somewhat vague about just what incursions she is exercised about. Whatever.
I would prefer that our federal government keep butting into our provincial affairs. Their butt-ins have been both helpful and generous. For example, it is putting $1.64-billion into Calgary’s Green Line, one-third the cost of the city’s latest addition to its LRT system and the city’s most important project. It also paid one-third the cost of the Saddledome, home of the Calgary Flames, and then paid for its renovation.
In 2020, they allocated $1-billion for cleanup of the province’s inactive and orphan oil and gas wells, a particularly generous gesture considering this is the industry’s responsibility.
Yet another aid to the oil industry—and Alberta—was $120-million for the Shell Quest project for carbon dioxide capture and storage, the technology UCP politicians rest their hopes on for dealing with climate change.
Then there was Ottawa’s remarkable generosity in buying Alberta a pipeline when industry lost interest. The feds paid $4.5-billion to purchase the twin of the Trans Mountain Pipeline and are putting up another $17-billion to complete it.
They are also investing $300-million (twice as much as the province) in support of a clean hydrogen project by Air Products Canada Ltd., one of the province’s hopes for a diversified future.
Social infrastructure isn’t ignored either. For example, under the Early Learning and Child Care Agreement, Ottawa will ultimately pay half the cost of child care such that by 2025 the cost of day care will be reduced to $10 a day, a boon especially for Alberta’s working women.
I could go on at length but you get the idea. While our very provincial premier picks fights with the senior level of government, it nonetheless continues to contribute generously to the issues that matter to Albertans. Beneath the political posturing the country persists in working very well.
It’s disappointing and depressing when the leaders of the richest province in one of the richest countries in the world focus on grievances. Issues provincial, such as the state of the health care system, to issues global, such as climate change, cry out for leadership. Jurisdictional self-righteousness contributes nothing toward that leadership and does nothing to serve the real interests of Albertans.