Former Airdrie MLA and lawyer, Rob Anderson, University of Calgary political scientist, Barry Cooper, and constitutional lawyer, Derek From, in cooperation with the Alberta Institute, released the “Free Alberta Strategy” policy paper and initiative Sept. 28.
The Free Alberta Strategy, a full copy of which can be found at https://www.freealbertastrategy.com/the_strategy, calls on the Government of Alberta to implement a package of legislative reforms and other policies empowering Alberta to immediately assert itself as a sovereign jurisdiction within Canada, offload the burden of Ottawa’s tyrannical economic policies against the Province, and secure self-determination for its People.
“Alberta’s mistreatment by Ottawa has become intolerable” said the Strategy’s co-author and former Airdrie MLA, Rob Anderson. “Successive governments in Ottawa, most especially this current cabal, continue to attack our Province’s economic interests, stifle our prosperity, and pillage the resources and wealth of Albertans to purchase electoral support in other parts of the country. It must end now – no more delays.”
University of Calgary political scientist and Strategy co-author, Dr. Barry Cooper, spoke to the necessity of the Government of Alberta acting immediately on this issue:
“Though Albertans have tolerated the expropriation of our wealth for decades, the Federal Government’s anti-Alberta agenda is now posing an existential threat to our Province’s economic viability and core freedoms,” said Dr. Cooper. “This can no longer be tolerated. The Provincial Government must act, and the Free Alberta Strategy outlines how best to go about doing so.”
Current Alberta MLAs, Angela Pitt (Airdrie), Jason Stephan (Red Deer – South), Drew Barnes (Cypress – Medicine Hat) and Todd Loewen (Central Peace – Notley) endorsed the Free Alberta Strategy and its call for Alberta to take back and restore its provincial rights:
“Thousands of Albertans have lost their jobs, and tens of thousands more are set to follow, if we continue to allow Ottawa to run roughshod over our energy and agriculture industries,” said Angela Pitt. “We need a viable plan to stop them, and the Free Alberta Strategy would do just that.”
“Alberta’s future needs to be decided by Albertans – not by Ottawa politicians thousands of kilometres away,” said Jason Stephan. “Self-reliance and self-determination are core principles of Albertans, and the Free Alberta Strategy will help to free us from the control the Federal Government exercises over our People.”
“Whether it’s land-locking our resources, penalizing Alberta’s families and communities through equalization, or using federal tax dollars to trample provincial jurisdiction in healthcare and education, Ottawa politicians continue to target our province,” said Drew Barnes. “We must be able to make Alberta the freest and most prosperous place it can be, and the Free Alberta Strategy presents an alternative approach to push back against Ottawa’s overreach.”
“The recent federal election reminds us yet again that Alberta’s contributions to Canada are always taken for granted,” said Todd Loewen. “Instead of campaign platforms focusing on market access and scaling back equalization, party leaders announced dozens of policies specifically designed to be harmful to Alberta’s economy. We cannot trust Ottawa to look out for the interests of Alberta. We must protect our own interests.”
The Free Alberta Strategy proposes the Government of Alberta implement the following key reforms:
– Passing into law the Alberta Sovereignty Act, granting the Alberta Legislature absolute discretion to refuse any provincial enforcement of federal legislation or judicial decisions that, in its view, interfere with provincial areas of jurisdiction or constitute an attack on the interests of Albertans. This would include Alberta prohibiting any provincial enforcement of the federal Carbon Tax, and other attempts by federal agencies to regulate our Province’s resources, health care, education or other areas of provincial jurisdiction. This would also necessitate establishing an Alberta Provincial Police Force to replace the RCMP, among other related reforms.
– Effectively ending federal equalization transfers from Alberta through passing into law the Equalization Termination and Tax Collection Act. In addition to establishing an Alberta Revenue Agency to collect all provincial taxes, this Act would also grant the Provincial Government authority to recover the total amount of equalization confiscated by the Federal Government from Alberta each year. This would also include replacing the Canada Pension Plan (“CPP”) and Employment Insurance (“EI”) with an Alberta Pension Plan and Alberta Unemployment Insurance designed to deliver to Alberta pensioners and those who become unemployed higher benefits using lower premiums from Alberta workers.
Anderson, in partnership with the Alberta Institute, the Strategy’s co-authors, and others, will be embarking on an initiative to promote the Free Alberta Strategy to citizens, politicians, and community leaders across Alberta through a series of town halls, media, advocacy meetings, and other initiatives.
The goal of these activities is to make the Free Alberta Strategy a part of the Government of Alberta’s official policy on provincial rights, and to see the Strategy’s proposed reforms implemented.
“Ottawa has fundamentally breached its constitutional agreement with Alberta,” stated co-author and constitutional lawyer, Derek From. “The Alberta Government has a right and duty to renegotiate its terms of membership in Confederation immediately. Albertans need a plan to defend themselves from Ottawa’s continued attacks, and we hope this initiative will provide Albertans with exactly that.”