Danielle Smith and the Free Alberta Strategy 

We’ve been so focused on the unconstitutionality of Danielle Smith’s central campaign promise, the passage of the Alberta Sovereignty Act (ASA), that we’ve forgotten that the ASA is part of the Free Alberta Strategy’s grand plan to renegotiate our place in Confederation—to “free” Alberta from “intolerable” abuse at the hands of the federal government—failing which we walk.

Let me repeat that: WE WALK.

Smith appears to have embraced the Free Alberta Strategy (FAS) without reservation. The fact that she hasn’t addressed what the FAS describes as “The Final Resort: National Independence” boggles the mind.

She’s running to be Alberta’s next premier. If she intends to follow the FAS to the bitter end, she should tell us.  

Danielle Smith

The FAS proposal

The FAS sets out a number of “reforms” that must be addressed to achieve provincial sovereignty, and if the feds fall short, then bonus! the FAS’s “reforms” will “better prepare Alberta for national political sovereignty.”

Why? Because we’ll have already done the legwork to consolidate most of Alberta’s “economic, environmental and resource governance, revenue collection, social services, law enforcement, and judicial powers,” while also expanding our provincially regulated financial institutions and intergovernmental affairs.


Here’s what the FAS proposes:*  

  1. Enact the Alberta Sovereignty Act to give the Alberta government the right to ignore federal laws and federal court decisions. An act that is unconstitutional and upends the rule of law and the role of democratic institutions. Great start.    
  2. Replace the RCMP with Alberta Provincial Police so the federal government and courts can’t enforce federal laws. But the APP isn’t enough so the ‘cut red tape, small government’ strategy proposes a bunch more legislation and government ministries.     
  3. Enact the Alberta Independent Banking Act to create more provincially regulated financial institutions like the ATB and credit unions for the sole purpose of preventing the feds from enforcing federal laws, eg if the feds fine a garage owner for failing to collect and remit carbon taxes they won’t be able to garnishee the business’s bank account because he banks with the credit union. If you’re a corporation like Suncor and you don’t want to bank at a credit union you’re out of luck.    
  4. Enact the Equalization Termination and Tax Collection Act to create the Alberta Revenue Agency to collect provincial taxes and the Alberta Public Services Employer to issue paycheques to Alberta public employees and remit federal withholding tax to the Alberta Revenue Agency which will decide how much to send Ottawa after it deducts what it believes it is owed. All this is founded on a fundamental misunderstanding of how equalization works.
  5. Incent (pay) private companies to bank with ATB and credit unions so they too can remit their employee’s federal tax deductions to the Alberta Revenue Agency. This will magically protect a company from federal prosecution for failure to remit federal income tax because the fed’s beef would be with the Alberta Revenue Agency and the Alberta Public Service Employer. Right, good luck with that. Also, remember the last time your employer under-collected federal taxes. You got hit with a bigger tax bill than you expected and you still had to pay.
  6. Opt out of federal transfer and other programs (like $10/day daycare) that influence areas of provincial jurisdiction. Demand “no strings attached” transfers or tax points. Hands up everyone who trusts the UCP to do this right.
  7. Enact the Alberta Pension Plan and Alberta Unemployment Insurance because Alberta’s younger population has contributed more to the federal equivalents of these programs than it’s gotten back. Yep, it’s the I-don’t-have-kids-why-should-I have-to-pay-school-taxes argument.
  8. Enact the Alberta Judicial Independence Act. The current judges and justices can keep their jobs but all future appointees to provincial court, Kings Bench and the Court of Appeal will be appointed by the Alberta government. This presupposes that all future judges will cast aside their legal training (and the common law) and issue decisions in favour of government policies. NOTE: When a government controls the courts, it’s tyranny.  
  9. Be independent in international relations and trade and have the power to ignore international agreements signed by the feds, if Alberta thinks they harm its interests. I see, Canada can come to the international bargaining table and enter into agreements that binds all of Canada except Alberta. Yeah, that’s going to go over well.

If the Feds don’t cave

The FAS is clear. If Canada rejects Alberta’s terms, we walk.

The FAS will set up a panel for secession. The panel will present proposals on an Alberta Constitution, judicial/legal system (which will retain the rule of law—hah!), monetary policy/currency, social programing, border protection, and taxation. Albertans will have a “full year” to debate these proposals and then we’ll vote in a referendum: in or out.

If 60% vote to leave. We’re out.

We’ll become the Republic of Western Canada. According to the authors of the FAS, we can continue to call ourselves Canadians—Western Canadians if we wish, because Central and Easter Canadians don’t have exclusivity rights of Canada’s history, culture or name.

Let’s make this interesting

Danielle Smith is confident the ASA will be drafted through the lens of constitutional law and protect us from federal interference with no downside. The authors of the Free Alberta Strategy assure us Alberta will come out ahead if it adopts their proposals.

If they’re so convinced of the merits of their plan, they can put their money where their mouths are.

They can give Albertans their personal guarantee—a legally binding personal guarantee, not some political puffery—that protects us from economic harm.

Because we’re the ones who are at risk here.

*If none of this makes sense, it’s not you, it’s them.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

64 Responses to Danielle Smith and the Free Alberta Strategy 

  1. Paul Pearlman says:

    We should find out who is whispering in Danielle’s ear. I really don’t think she is smart enough to be the architect of this ever so crazy plan,but I’m sure there will be many Albertans chopping at the bit anything to stick it to Ottawa and the rest of the country because we are so hard done bye.My thoughts of the Clowns with Kenney was what what what every week a self inflicted crisis and now this.Who ever leads the Clowns will be far far from having the people of Alberta in mind we should all hope it won’t be Danielle Smith we would be looking at a crisis an hour.The poor PCs are wondering where the sanity has gone.

    • Mary Nokleby says:

      Where the sanity has gone? It left gradually, as the conservative old solutions to new problems became more and more unworkable. Kenney’s three years is more than illustrative, of how little the conservative rump knows about governance.

      Politics: that they can do. But create legislation that works for all of us??
      Not in their DNA.

    • Paul, I think all these characters are playing from the Harper/Flanagan playbook. They continue to roll out the same tired arguments, which sadly are gaining traction with a population tired of covid and frightened with the rate of change and uncertainty swirling all around them. For some reason it’s easier to mobilize people with fear and hatred than hope and joy.

  2. Mary Nokleby says:

    The details of the FAS are excellent reading if you want to know the inner mind of Alberta’s staunchest Conservatives. A little fascist republic, with its own police, judiciary, tax collecting system, and pension plans………….all paid for no doubt by all the back equalization payments Alberta is owed.

    Yes, its wacky…but let’s not make the mistake they made in Weimar Germany and laugh so hard we have no time left over to work for viable alternatives to this ideologue in female clothing.

    • Mary, you hit the nail on the head when you said it would be a mistake to underestimate Danielle Smith and the FAS. I’d go one step further and say we need to make sure we don’t underestimate the UCP, period. There isn’t a clear eyed visionary in the lot of them.
      My big worry for the future is that this province would be irreparably damaged if the UCP were to hang on to government for another 4 years. The only reason they haven’t completely trashed the province already is covid slowed them down. So I guess this is a clarion call to those who are not happy with what passes for government in the province to get out and support their NDP candidate. I really don’t see another choice.

      • Mary Nokleby says:

        That is what we are doing Susan…..and I’d encourage everyone to do some door knocking for their candidate. As a retired teacher, I like to interact, and most people are hungry for conversation….not everyone is open to the ndp, but a whole lot more people seem aware that things aren’t great in Alberta politics these days……and we are taking sign orders from quite a few.

        Besides….we need to have conversations about real issues. As my partner says, when we don’t talk politics, democracy suffers

  3. Reynold Reimer says:

    I’d like to make a modest proposal. I’ve long been bothered by the fact that most of the time the wind at our latitude blows from west to east. As a result, most Canadians to the east of us are breathing air that was recently in Alberta! It’s time we sent them the bill! When that air is over Alberta it was ours! When is slips across the Saskatchewan border no one pays us for it! That is an insult to our sovereign right to control our resources!

    • Reynold. I think this is a wonderful idea! It illustrates the looniness of the FAS perfectly. Thank you for brining a smile to my lips. 🙂

    • GoinFawr says:

      I get it: Like the ‘omniscient hand of the free market’ air is invisible, therefore breathable air is a privilege, not a right. And THAT’s how you get a PhD in economics, write that down kids.

  4. Brent Calvert Mcfadyen says:

    I will repeat “another nut right wing party”. These people think they can push everyone around and the majority of Canadians will cave to their wishes. They will remain on the the back burner of Canadian politics with this attitude. I wonder when Albertans will get tired of these politics.

    • Brent, I have friends and family in BC. I’ve lost track of the number of times they’ve said “those Albertans, nothing makes them happy”. The majority of Canadians are fed up to the teeth with our whiny entitled attitude.

  5. David Baine says:

    Excellent summarizing analysis of the nature and implications of FAS. Thanks, David

  6. jerrymacgp says:

    Everything about this whacky idea is based on a bundle of false premises, the most noxious being that the federal government, and/or the rest of Canada, are “out to get” Alberta. Nothing could be further from the truth.

    On the issue of Alberta’s signature industry — oil & gas — global forces such as the slowly strengthening determination to finally begin to deal with climate change, as Europe & California burn and Pakistan drowns, have far more influence on Alberta’s economy than anything Ottawa or the other provinces do. In fact, Ottawa famously overruled and overrode BC’s vociferous objections and pushed through the Trans-Mountain Expansion pipeline to Burnaby. If you accept the logic of Daniellezebub and her supporters, taxpayers in places like BC’s Lower Mainland, Vancouver Island and Québec should be able to demand refunds of that portion of their taxes that were paid by the federal government to buy out and bail out TMX from its former corporate owners.

    The price of oil tanked during the pandemic because people weren’t going anywhere that they needed fossil fuels to get to. The price of oil rose sharply at the beginning of the year as country after country defied the advice of public health experts and removed most or all remaining COVID restrictions and demand for fossil fuels jumped. Then Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine and — just like the mid-1970s after the Yom Kippur War — the price of oil spiked even more as a result of the disruption of global supplies caused by armed conflict. In this case, it wasn’t an embargo imposed by OPEC against the pro-Israeli West; it was sanctions imposed against Russia and constraints put on Europe’s largest oil & gas producer’s ability to export fossil fuels in order to earn hard currency. None of these scenarios can be either credited to, or blamed on, perspicacity on the part of Alberta government, or perfidy on the part of the federal government.

    Then there’s the perpetual hobbyhorse of Alberta’s right: equalization. For those at the back that perhaps can’t hear me, ALBERTA DOES NOT SEND CHEQUES TO OTTAWA OR QUÉBEC. Equality also does not detract one iota from Alberta’s economic activity or government revenues. The federal government pays less fiscally healthy provinces out of its general revenue fund, in order to ensure a uniform level of provincial public services regardless of that province’s fiscal capacity — meaning its ability to raise revenue. Let’s remember that Alberta continues to maintain the lowest overall taxation regime in Canada, despite having the highest median household incomes in the country. As such, we will never qualify to receive equalization because (1) we are too rich, and (2) we have, collectively, deliberately decided not to use our fiscal capacity to its full extent.

    In fact, given how often people opposed to equalization cite Québec as their bête noir, I tend to attribute much of that opposition not to any views about federalism, it’s about a deep streak of anti-francophone bigotry that goes back to the days of the old “I don’t like French on my cereal boxes”.

    Anyway, this entire plan, the so-called “Free Alberta Strategy”, is a farrago of lies and Newspeak, and needs to be rejected in its entirety.

    • Brent Calvert Mcfadyen says:

      Right on

    • Beverly Mah says:

      A clear and brilliant analysis (as is Susan’s). I did have to look up “farrago” though. Thanks for my “new word of the day”.

    • Jerry, thank you for this excellent summary of the issue. I smiled at your FULL CAPS explanation of equalization.
      Danielle Smith underlined the lunacy of her position with respect to equalization by saying (1) Canada, particularly Quebec is getting too much of Alberta’s “share” of equalization payments and (2) she supports the FAS because Alberta should be treated like Quebec. So what is she saying? Quebec is being overpaid or Alberta should be paid as much as (over)paid Quebec. She really can’t talk for more than 5 minutes without putting her foot in her mouth. I just wish her supporters would engage their brains, not their emotions, when they listen to her speak.

  7. Guy says:

    Thanks for this summary Susan. I wasn’t aware of the contents of the FAS until now, probably because I have tried as hard as I can to ignore this protracted and ridiculous leadership race. Unfortunately, it seems to share some qualities with the smoky air that we are currently subjected to in that you can hide from it for a while but it will eventually find you and subsequently irritate you.

    After reading the points that you have outlined I find myself asking this question: “What is in here that is of any benefit to the average citizen of Alberta?” I can’t find anything at all. I am as wary of the voting tendencies of Albertans as anyone can be but I really have to wonder how many of us believe that if we place the control of our police force, banking system, judiciary, tax collection and pension plan administration in the hands of the government of our newly created (What? Independent Province? Republic? Fiefdom?), led by such visionaries as Ms. Smith and her cabal, that we will flourish socially and economically ever after. Not many I hope. Because we have already seen the havoc caused by 3-plus years of the UCP and even their disgraced leader Kenney, who has worked tirelessly to erode the standard of living for Albertans in the name of corporate profits, but would undoubtedly love to have the proposed powers for himself, thinks the Alberta Sovereignty Act (or Alberta Separation Screed as I prefer to call it) is garbage. If it’s too far out there for Kenney then it’s pretty far out there.

    From what I see here, this ‘strategy’ does not provide any vision for a strong, viable and sustainable society whatsoever. It simply reads like a plan to centralize as much authority as possible with a relatively small group of people who are endlessly ambitious but whose qualifications to wield such authority are, at best, questionable.

    • Thanks Guy. You’re absolutely right that there is nothing in the FAS for the average citizen of Alberta.
      Furthermore, there’s nothing in the FAS for Alberta businesses either. The suggestion that businesses should feel safe NOT complying with the federal legal requirement to withhold and pay federal tax to the federal government is lunacy. The authors of the FAS appear to be saying that businesses could ignore this federal law with impunity by simply paying it to the province (ATBs and credit unions who’d remit it to the provincial tax authority who’d pay as much or as little to the feds as they thought was appropriate) and running the federal withholding payment through the ATB/credit unions was enough to to shield the businesses from liability because even if the feds fined the businesses, they never be able to collect those fines because they couldn’t enforce collection (the Alberta government would control the police and the seizure laws). The authors of the FAS overlooked the fact that most big employers have assets all over Canada and their directors and officers would not want to intentionally violate federal tax laws (if they did, they’d lose their D&O insurance and become personally liable).
      The UCP government cannot simply wave a magic wand and make something that was illegal, legal.
      This is not how a sophisticated mature government operates and it’s certainly not how to attract businesses to Alberta.
      No wonder Kenney said a conservative lawyer told him the FAS was the “Alberta Suicide Act”.

  8. Carlos says:

    Thank you so much for this post. This is way more than I knew about it and it just once again supports my belief that Danielle Smith’s idea of Alberta is not at all what the majority of Albertans have in mind. In fact I personally believe this is a lunacy.
    The fact that she can reach the top job of the UCP just clearly define what kind of party they are and I doubt very much most conservatives in Alberta will accept this joke. My goodness even lunatic Jason Kenney thinks this is extreme!!! Wow

    • Carlos, I agree with your assessment. When Smith adopted the FAS as her #1 policy I realized that she (and the FAS authors) were (1) utterly unaware of how the law and the constitution works, and, (2) ridiculously naive about how business decisions are made.
      One of the most important duties of a CEO and his board of directors is to assess the risk facing the business in the short and long term. That’s one reason why so many oil companies are throttling back their capital spending, they don’t see a long profitable future for fossil fuels.
      To suggest that a CEO and his board would happily flaunt the laws of the land on the assurance of the unsophisticated rubes running the UCP is lunacy. All Smith managed to do is give Alberta a black eye. So while Kenney is running around the country trying to convince Canadian businesses (and people) to move to Alberta, she’s spouting off convincing them we’re a banana republic.

      • jerrymacgp says:

        Just a brief comment about how all this might look to the oil & gas sector. Without a doubt the big companies headquartered in Calgary & Houston etc. are extremely leery of this nonsense. But they’re not the UCP’s true audience. That role is filed by the soft underbelly of the industry — the dozens, perhaps hundreds of small upstream & midstream service businesses, doing everything from welding & pipefitting, to fluid hauling, to rig mats, to pilot car operators, to hotshot, to natural gas compression, to wireline — whatever the heck that is — to seismic, to well testing, and so on and so on ad infinitum.

        A few years ago, while trying to recruit participants in an oilpatch health & fitness study — it was intended to be my Master’s thesis — I visited virtually every oilpatch business in the greater Grande Prairie area. I basically ransacked the oilfield service section of the Yellow Pages — this was when that still meant something — and ended up visiting over 55 businesses and corporate offices, from businesses as big as Cenovus, Encama & Seven Gen to little two-truck welding firms. And I didn’t even get to them all. This was, I think, 2014/2015-ish. The ‘F*ck Trudeau’ stickers on everyone’s work trucks had yet to proliferate, but similar sentiments were starting to be publicly expressed about the new NDP Premier, Rachel Notley.

        This is the part of the oil & gas industry that is the UCP’s true political base. This is also where the greatest levels of fear & resentment against climate action reside. The big players can find a way to make bank from new and emerging technologies in a low-carbon future. The smaller players don’t see that they can — I guess nobody’s explained geothermal to them.

        Let’s remember too, that few people employed in these businesses work 9-5. Many work 10-14 hour days, on 21/7 or comparable rotations, pulling in buckets of money in Overtime, although with zero work-life balance — but only when the industry is booming — then get laid off at a pittance on EI (if they even qualify at all, many of them being “independent contractors” rather than employees), and yet they still have to pay for their expensive toys, like RVs & Quads, lifted diesel duallies, and boats. Many of these workers know nothing else but working in the ‘patch, and see the impending changes in the fossil fuel economy as an existential threat to them and their families.

        Once rationality returns to the Alberta legislature, the 2nd Notley government is going to have to develop a strategy to give these workers some comfort that they won’t lose their homes as this transition evolves. Otherwise I fear what might happen next.

      • Bob, thank you for this very informative comment. I agree with the point raised in your last paragraph and recall that Notley worked hard to address the impact of the shift from coal fired to natural gas fired power plants on the power companies’ workforce. The incentive package Notley provided to power producer TransAlta included a requirement that TransAlta retrain the affected employees. By all accounts the transition worked out well for all concerned, however I suspect the TransAlta-type arrangement wouldn’t apply to the upstream and midstream companies you’ve described. Even if their employees receive government funded retraining, the income from installing solar panels is nowhere near as lucrative as what these guys/gals are earning now. It will be a tough nut to crack but I’m confident Notley and her team have the brains and vision to find a workable solution. .

      • jerrymacgp says:

        Hi, Ms Soapbox. Who’s Bob?

      • Sorry jerry I can’t see where I made the reference to Bob…my laptop is displaying my responses in a weird way. I assume I was talking to you not Bob, right?

      • jerrymacgp says:

        Yes that’s right 🙂

      • Dark Phoenix says:

        The great irony here is that the province of Alberta wouldn’t be entirely reliant on the whims of the fossil fuel economy if it weren’t for Jason Kenney and the UCP in the first place, as he used “The NDP wants to diversify, and we at the UCP say: DRILL BABY DRILL!” to win election to begin with… And then did exactly what he said he wanted to and shut down any non-fossil fuel investments in the province. And now it appears that the UCP wants to double down on THAT bit of stupidity and use decades of “We’re getting ripped off” claims to try and dictate to the other provinces, using the fascist’s favorite play; “Give us what we want or we’re taking our ball and going home!”

        And I think it’ll be about as successful as it was in Quebec, as like in Quebec, I don’t think the general populace of Alberta actually wants to leave Canada.

      • Dark Phoenix. I think you’re right. The Free Alberta Strategy types appear to think that the mere threat of independence will bring Ottawa to its knees. They’ve glossed over the hurdles to declaring independence, including the fact that Alberta is subject to First Nations treaties 4, 6, 7, 8, and 10 (6, 7, and 8 are the big ones). The First Nations’ primary relationship is with the federal government, not the provincial government, and if Albertans think the FN are going to give that up just because Alberta says so, they can think again.

      • Kelly Miller says:

        The great irony here is that the province of Alberta wouldn’t be entirely reliant on the whims of the fossil fuel economy if it weren’t for Jason Kenney and the UCP in the first place, as he used “The NDP wants to diversify, and we at the UCP say: DRILL BABY DRILL!” to win election to begin with… And then did exactly what he said he wanted to and shut down any non-fossil fuel investments in the province. And now it appears that the UCP wants to double down on THAT bit of stupidity and use decades of “We’re getting ripped off” claims to try and dictate to the other provinces, using the fascist’s favorite play; “Give us what we want or we’re taking our ball and going home!”

        And I think it’ll be about as successful as it was in Quebec, as like in Quebec, I don’t think the general populace of Alberta actually wants to leave Canada.

  9. Kimberlee Wolfe says:

    The longer I live in Alberta (after returning in 2015) the more I feel alienated by this current government’s leadership, agendas, values and philosophies. It truly motivates me to want to leave as it doesn’t align with my values. What idiocy!!!

    • Kimberlee: I know exactly how you feel. I’m travelling in BC this week. You’d be surprised how many people we’ve met who were originally from Alberta, but decided it was time for a change. I fear the exodus will continue if the UCP are re-elected in 2023.

  10. Bill Albers says:

    So they guarantee my medical bills will be paid should I have a medical condition in spite of the fact Alberta will not be receiving Federal Funding (part of the equalization payments Alberta receives from the the feds which I’ll bet Danielle Smith won’t tell you about) .

  11. Sharon says:

    Whatever begins in anger ends in shame.
    -Ben Franklin
    Watch out Dangerous Danielle and the United Clown Party. Not all Albertans want out of Canada. The same goes for Skippy Poilievre and his Con gang (which includes Convoys). Voters need to be educated and there should be more fact checking of the drivel that comes out of these peoples’ mouths. They are, by definition, not conservatives… Peter Lougheed must be spinning in his grave.

    • Kimberlee Wolfe says:

      Bravo Sharon.

    • Sharon, I agree with everything you’ve said here. I was listening to a CBC program about Poilievre. One reporter had had a chance to interview him during the leadership race. She said that Poilievre, like so many conservatives is of the view that it’s the job of families and charitable organizations, not the government, to take care of people. Danielle Smith (and Margaret Thatcher for that matter) said the same thing. It’s a strange concept which allows them to turn a blind eye to the suffering around them while at the same time patting themselves on the back for having been born into the right families with the right economic standing.
      Very inhumane.

      • Kelly Miller says:

        It’s part of conservative libertarianism, which Pierre is a strong believer in. “You ALWAYS get what you deserve, so I’m a good person who deserves the advantages I have, whereas you’re a bad person so you deserve all the roadblocks in your way.”

        It’s a bunch of bullshit, but it appeals to those lacking empathy because it lets them tell themselves that they aren’t doing anything wrong when they ignore those that need help.

      • Kelly, that was one of the clearest explanations of how conservative libertarians think that I’ve seen in a long time. Thanks!

  12. Dave says:

    I see a lot of problems with this almost 10 point Free Alberta Strategy. Of course, not least starting with #1 – its unconstitutional.

    If that is not enough, #2 – while Albertans do have some issues with the RCMP, they really don’t want a provincial police force. In particular, rural municipalities who have recent past experience with the provincial UCP as a fair weather funder, worry they will get stuck with part of the much larger bill, without the Feds covering part of the cost.

    Maybe the next biggest problem is #7 – pensions. Again many Alberta pensioners are uneasy about changes and a lot do not trust the Alberta government to manage their pension money well. The recent mixed investment experience of AIMCO, which manages some Alberta public pensions does not give them comfort and there is further broad suspicion if Alberta takes over its portion of the CPP, these pension funds may be used to make bad investments in potentially declining local industries.

    After that is no better for the Free Alberta Strategy. Perhaps, the another huge hurdle is collection of tax revenues – #4. While Alberta actually does already collect corporate tax revenue, it does not collect personal tax revenue. I doubt the Feds will be eager to hand this over, particularly a government that seems likely to try use it against them. So perhaps the best the UCP could hope for was to only collect the Alberta portion of personal taxes – so hello two tax returns and more complexity with no additional leverage. I really don’t think that will go over well with most Alberta taxpayers.

    I could go on, but as the saying goes – three strikes and you are out. I think some politicians are so focused on their agendas and hatred of Ottawa (or maybe just the current Federal government) that they fail to realize most of what they are proposing it out very of step with what most Albertans want. They can tell their supporters who want to believe fairly tales and appear to be confident (or maybe they really are that delusional), but I don’t think the broader public will buy it.

    • Dave, I like your three strikes and you’re out rule. We shouldn’t have to pour over every element of this ridiculously flawed “strategy” to toss it in the trash. For me #1 is enough. Any political leader who supports an undemocratic plan does not deserve to form government in a democracy. End of story.
      But for some voters the concepts of the rule of law, the separation of powers, and the division of powers is too esoteric, so hammering home the implications of proposals like #7 is the way to go.
      So here’s my question. All of the FAS points kick up difficult, if not insoluble, problems. How come Smith’s supporters haven’t asked her to explain HOW she’s going to accomplish these things? Surely they know by now that “trust me, it’ll be fine!” Is not an answer.

  13. Linda says:

    I say no. Just no. I have absolute faith that the UCP would muck up the running of health care, police, taxation etc. to the detriment of the taxpayers they claim they serve. For proof, look no further than their ‘war on healthcare’ during a pandemic. Yep, best possible time to get into contractual disputes with doctors & demand wage rollbacks for nurses & other health care staff. As for ‘rule of law’, it is to laugh. They don’t support their own laws now unless it happens to fit their agenda. For proof, look to the Coutts blockade. Had that been environmentalists or indigenous folks trying to block the border the police would have had them in handcuffs by the end of the first day. They Alberta legislature had that handy legislation but would they use it? Not when it applied to their supporters, including one of their very own MLA’s. So much for ‘rule of law, applied equally’. As for handing over yet more control of pension income to these bozos, don’t do it. They have already had AimCo ‘invest’ public pension $ into pet projects (oil & gas) & you can bet they wouldn’t hold back on doing the same if they got their paws on CPP dollars that belonged to Albertans.

    • Beverly Mah says:

      Agree 100% with you!

    • Linda, I agree 100%. What’s interesting is most Albertans agree with you on all these issues. For example the last statistic I saw with respect to spending millions on a provincial police force indicated that 84% of Albertans were against the idea. Furthermore, the mayors in the small towns and municipalities who’d have to fund this boondoggle have made their views loud and clear. The answer is NO! And yet the UCP is pressing ahead.
      Frankly I think it’s all about ideology and how to make Alberta look like it’s a ‘a nation within a nation’ when it’s not.
      Unbelievably disrespectful of the citizenry and a colossal waste of money to boot.

      • Brent Calvert Mcfadyen says:

        Having a provincial police force is about control of the police. This way they can play fast and loose with the rule of law.

  14. Dear readers:
    For some reason all my responses to everyone’s comments are appearing under “Anonymous”.
    My laptop is at the shop (poor thing had a nervous breakdown), my iPad is under the impression I need to go incognito so we’ll just have to make do.
    Please bear with me.

  15. Dwayne says:

    Susan: I think that Danielle Smith is trying her best at rilling up Albertans, using fear and it also has misinformation in it. Danielle Smith does not seem to be an expert on much. It was a decade ago that Alberta was having a provincial election. Albertans clearly said no to Danielle Smith.
    I have also noticed this, and this contains a whole bunch of misinformation. Have you seen this? If you have, what are your thoughts on it?

  16. Dwayne says:

    Susan: I thought I’d share some more fitting music. This is from Neil Young and Crazy Horse, from their latest album, Barn. It’s Song Of The Seasons.

  17. Dwayne says:

    Susan: Here is my final song pick, Rocky Mountain Suite (Cold Nights In Canada). It is from 1973, and is by John Denver.

  18. Dwayne says:

    Susan: I still see this. What are your thoughts on it?

  19. Mike J Danysh says:

    “History never repeats, but historical situations recur.” In our case, the traditional bitching about “Alberta never gets a good deal” has come around again…and again…and again, words without end.

    The Free Alberta Strategy and its immediate predecessor, the Buffalo Project, are the latest iterations of a zombie idea that goes through the “Alberta Firewall” letter to the Western Canada Concept. Then there’s Bible Bill Aberhart and his Social Credit fiasco—several SC bills were declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court (they were blatantly illegal). All contributed to the “it ain’t fair to Alberta” ritual complaints.

    (Historical note: “By late 1937, relations with the lieutenant governor became so strained that [Lt. Gov.] Bowen even threatened to dismiss Aberhart’s government, which would have been an extraordinary use of his reserve powers.” A point Queen Dannie might want to bear in mind.)

    The latest iteration shows that Smith and her comrades listen to each other too much. The idea that a junior government can ignore laws of a senior government would be laughable if they weren’t serious. (Imagine what Smith would do if Calgary or Edmonton city council said “No, we don’t like that law. We won’t do it and you can’t make us!”)

    Smith’s “leadership” style can be seen in her reaction to early criticisms of the Alberta Sovereignty Act: essentially, shut up till you’ve seen the finished product. We don’t need to see it to know it’s flawed; the descriptions to date prove the ASA is illegal on its face. Smith has since retreated from her self-selected untenable position, saying the New & Improved ASA would be written (eventually) to conform with the Constitution. To do that, she’d have to water it down to homeopathy levels, so utterly diluted there’s no “active ingredient” left.

    It’s a little less disheartening to note that the UCP cabinet members are—mostly, somewhat—backing away from Smith and the ASA. Many are saying they want to see the wording before they’ll back it. A few, mostly Smith’s supporters, are committed. So, of course, is Todd Loewen, who I suspect is fishing in troubled waters hoping to catch a cabinet appointment.

    The whole mess is part ignorance, part wishful thinking, and lots of echo-chamber effect. The authors admit the purpose of their unconstitutional screed is to start a controversy. If by that they mean eye-rolling and mutters of “They’re crazy”—they’ve succeeded.

    • Carlos says:

      I agree – I truly believe Danielle Smith and most of the UCP members need some anti-psychotics.

      • Dwayne says:

        Carlos: If the UCP get back in for another four years, come May of 2023, or whenever they decide to call the next provincial election, I’m sure there are people who will leave Alberta. If Danielle Smith gets to be premier, she will create a nightmare for Albertans, one that will make a Boris Karloff movie look like an episode of Sesame Street. If Pierre Poliveire becomes Prime Minister of Canada, that’s going to compound problems further. He’ll just give the green light to Danielle Smith’s wishes. If voter turnout was like it had been in the last Ontario provincial election, this won’t help Alberta either. Alberta hasn’t been known for having a high voter turnout in elections.

      • Mike J Danysh says:

        Dwayne and Carlos, I suspect a 4-year term of Queen Dannie would be better compared to a different Boris–Johnson–and his student-outdoing-the-teacher, Liz Truss. That’d be worse, because their stupidity is real.

        Smith and Poilievre both forget that the Supreme Court and Governor General both have a constitutional role to play. PP should know this better than Queen Dannie, because so many would-be laws from Stephen Harper and his “little boys in short pants” were struck down by the Supreme Court. But recognizing reality may be a weak point with both would-be autocrats.

        Re election turnout, even Albertans can get excited if there’s enough controversy to get their attention. Hence, lots of people in 2015 voted against the Old Tories–and we got our very first NDP government. We may see it happen again in 2023. It depends on how Calgarians feel about the yahoos infesting the Dome. Edmonton, as usual, will vote more progressive than not. Rural voters, as usual, will vote against their own best interests. Calgary will be the decisive battleground.

    • Gerald Manweiler says:

      From Lt Gov Lakhani’s comments to CBC news in re Smith’s Sovereignty Act – our Lt Gov. is very aware of history – the comment went along the lines of “that’s why I live in my own house”.

      This refers to Premier Aberhart closing Government House ( Lt Gov. Bowen’s official residence) in retaliation for Lt. Gov. Bowen declining assent to Aberhart’s unconstitutional acts.

      Should she become premier, Smith is going to have a rather … interesting relationship with Lt. Gov. Lakhani. A dismissal of a Smith lead Government is within the realm of possibility.

      • Mike J Danysh says:

        Gerald, I believe Aberhart had four bills struck down. Let’s see if Queen Dannie can beat his record….

    • Dwayne says:

      Mike J Danysh: There was some very undemocratic moves in Alberta, back in the days of the Social Credit Party. In addition, there was some very cold hearted things going on, which didn’t make us look good. There was an attack on the print media. Forced sterilization also happened. Bill Aberhart and Ernest Manning also had antisemitic views. Peter Lougheed wanted to change things for the better, and in 1971, that happened. When Ralph Klein came along, he took Alberta backwards, and whatever great things Peter Lougheed achieved, had been ruined. The UCP are taking Alberta in a backwards direction too, and Danielle Smith is really going for the gusto on that. Peter Lougheed compared Ralph Klein to the Social Credit Party. He also compared the Reform Party of Canada to the Social Credit Party. I’m sure he’d be saying the same thing about the UCP.

      • Mike J Danysh says:

        Dwayne, I think you’ve summarized Alberta’s political history pretty well. One quibble, though; while Aberhart was antisemitic, he was less so than the man who inspired his Social Credit agenda (as noted in the Wikipedia article I referenced). I’m not defending Aberhart, I’m pointing out he was a man of his time. Antisemitism, eugenics and homophobia were mainstream in the ‘30s. There’s been some social progress since then—we need to remember that, and keep working on it.

        Having said that, I agree totally that the UCP have tried to drag Alberta back to an earlier, coarser time. Jason Kenney, Danielle Smith and Pierre Poilievre have deliberately sucked up to the worst aspects of Oilberduh culture. Peter Lougheed wasn’t perfect, but he really did put the “Progressive” into Conservative policies. I suspect that, if he’s watching the successors to his PC legacy, he’s now known to his cemetery neighbours as “Whirligig Pete.”

    • Kelly Miller says:

      “The idea that a junior government can ignore laws of a senior government would be laughable if they weren’t serious.”

      Laughable, serious, and you KNOW where they got the idea for it from… See “State’s Rights”, which is the American version of this bullshit argument.

      • Mike J Danysh says:

        Hi Kelly. Far too much Canadian Con “policy” comes from their American cousins. Pierre Poilievre is said to believe firmly in “right to work” (aka “right to starve”) legislation. The incessant fighting between state legislatures and the White House is a terrible weakness of the American system of checks and balances–especially now that Donald Trump has thrown the system out of balance.

        Our system is quite different (thank God). While there’s ambiguity in some aspects of who can make rules on what, mostly the divisions in the Canadian Constitution are clear. Where the ambiguity comes in, we have the Supreme Court of Canada to make decisions–and it’s FAR less politicized than the US version. (See above comment about Donald Trump to learn why.)

        I see Tyler Shandro is now beaking off about how the UCP government won’t tell (or maybe “let”) the RCMP enforce a federal law banning assault-style weapons in Alberta. Stupid political posturing by the UCP, but it might have one good effect. If they force a fight (and they’re dumb enough to try!), the UCP will almost certainly lose in the Supreme Court. This will be a test case for Queen Dannie’s Alberta Sovereignty Act (aka “Alberta Suicide Act”), before it’s even written.

        Fasten your seatbelts, friends, it’s gonna be a bumpy ride at least until May 2023!

      • Mike J: you nailed it with your observation that too much Canadian Con policy is imported from the US. Sadly too many Canadians are under the misapprehension that our democratic institutions and our laws are the same as those in the US. Our politicians aren’t doing much to dissuade them of this belief, especially when their ignorance can be used to political advantage.
        And as for Shandro, I haven’t researched it yet, but I don’t understand why he thinks he has the authority to tell the RCMP that they are not allowed to enforce federal law. And yes, Danielle Smith’s Sovereignty Act (assuming she’s elected UCP leader) will be challenged in court and declared unconstitutional.
        What a crazy province we live in.

  20. Gerald says:

    History repeating itself, etc.

    Though I am thinking Smith’s ranking on the upcoming ballots may be dropping.
    The whole scenario may become moot.

    That would best for the province, but I do have to admit I would love to see Lt. Gov. Lakhani drive a wooden stake through Smith’s political career.

    • Mike J Danysh says:

      Thanks Gerald. I read the article you reference, and the earlier one with Lakhani’s quote, “That’s why I live in my own house.” Oilberduh looks very bad when the King’s representative is so openly suspicious of the ruling party.

      Ms Lakhani has reason, I’m sorry to say. The comments section of both articles betray a worrisome lack of understanding of the Westminster system–and a frightening belligerence from some UCP trolls.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s