Blanchet says Quebec deserves credit for creating Albertas oil patch – Macleans

Blanchet says Quebec deserves credit for creating Albertas oil patch - Maclean\s
Well see whos laughing: Wexit movement applies for federal party status
Bloc Quebecois leader Yves-Francois Blanchet speaks with reporters following a meeting with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019. (Sean Kilpatrick/CP)

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In 2016, he stepped down from the Progressive Conservative party's board after accusing Earls restaurants of supporting terrorism by purchasing beef from a company that also offers halal meat for Muslim customers. In 2007, Chandler was forced to apologize as part of a Canadian Human Rights Commission settlement for anti-gay comments. He was rejected as running as a candidate for the PCs that same year.

You’re welcome: Quebec politicians took to the airwaves over the weekend with tough words for Alberta as a spat between the two provinces deepened. Bloc Quebecois leader Yves-François Blanchet blasted Alberta Premier Jason Kenney for spreading “false information” about Canada’s equalization system, and claiming that Quebec pays more into federal coffers than Alberta does (which, technically is true, until you account for Quebec’s larger population). Besides, Blanchet claimed on Global TV’s The West Block, the Alberta oil patch owes its very existence to Quebec: There would be no oil industry in Alberta if Quebec had not willingly or not contributed to the very beginning of that industry so many years ago. We were the ones providing money to them back then, and were not saying keep giving us that money. The Bloc Québécois does not say that. The Bloc Québécois says at the end of the day, we would do better by ourselves without your oil, without your money.”

"The establishment is scared when western Canadians stand up for their rights and aren't going to be pushed around anymore. And the reality is this: it's not about white supremacy, it's not about any kind of race or religion … it's about liberal supremacy," he said to applause. 

Over on CTV’s Question Period, former Liberal cabinet minister and one-time Montreal mayor Denis Coderre also said Kenney had a problem with the truth when it comes to his claims about equalization: “I think that if we cut that rhetoric and were more factual, we will witness that maybe Alberta is jealous of some of the powers that Quebec has and would like to have that kind of autonomy.”

Downing's push for Alberta separatism first gained attention with a February billboard campaign, but Wexit — a portmanteau of "western exit" — appeared to gain support in the wake of the federal election which saw the governing Liberals shut out of Alberta and most of the west. 

Kenney, who is en route to Houston today on a mission aimed at “restoring investor confidence and reversing the flow of money, ideas and businesses from Alberta to places like Texas,” didn’t respond directly to any of the latest statements out of Quebec, but give it time.

Around 750 people gathered in Notre Dame High School's gymnasium for Saturday's Wexit rally. Volunteers hawked merchandise like red baseball caps with the slogans "Make Alberta Great Again" and "Rednexit" from a table at the back of the room as attendees filed in.

Fewer MPs, more ministers: After nearly completely vanishing from the public eye after last month’s election, Justin Trudeau will reveal his cabinet this week. There’s been no shortage of speculation about who’ll make the cut on Wednesday, but that’s not stopping anyone from speculating further. One likely new feature of the Trudeau 2.0 cabinet is its expanded size, even though Trudeau has 20 fewer MPs to draw from. There could be regional ministers tasked with representing the concerns of specific communities across Canada. Meanwhile the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change could be split into two portfolios.

Downing ran federally with the Christian Heritage Party in 2015. He said he's since been involved with federal Conservative Party boards and as a campaign manager with the former provincial Wildrose Party — and he said he's currently a member of the United Conservative Party.

As protests deepen in Iraq, Canada is caught in the middle: With Iraqis demanding more say in politics, their government has responded with violence. That’s given Canadas mission to the country added urgency, writes Adnan R. Khan:

The rally was the group's second major event in Alberta since the election, the first held at Edmonton's Boot Scootin' Boogie Dance Hall two weeks ago. Downing said he plans to hold more rallies later this month in Alberta and across Saskatchewan in the new year.

Understanding the breadth and depth of Iraqs protests, why its different this time, is intimately tied with Canadas mission in Iraq. A key plank of the military training is professionalizing Iraqis security services so they arent used as a tool of repression against their own people and can meet the security needs of Iraq without outsourcing to foreign-controlled militias.

The party has been accused of allowing conspiracy theories or other harmful rhetoric to circulate online. On social media, Downing has railed against "crybaby liberal reporters," "communist creeps and bums in Eastern Canada" and "beta males."

In April, when Macleans toured Canadas NATO deployment in Iraq, the Iranian militias were already becoming a problem. Major-General Dany Fortin, the top commander in charge of the training mission, noted that Iraqs leaders had not proven that vast array of groups were under the direct and effective control of the Iraqi government. Canadian soldiers on the ground made a much more disconcerting observation: Militia members were watching them, tracking their movements and apparently taking notes, likely on their numbers, equipment and procedures. Read more ››

Elections Canada confirmed it has received Wexit's application to become a federally registered party and CBC News has reached out to the electoral offices the four aforementioned western provinces to confirm if the party has also registered at that level.

#WhatsYourExcuse?: Maddison Yetman, the young woman facing terminal cancer who issued a viral video plea to Canadians to vote in the last election, died over the weekend. May her message — that if she could vote despite her illness so can you — live on for many elections to come.

The group's goal of seceding could prove difficult, experts say. Any provinces looking to leave Confederation would have to address First Nations treaties and other complications like trade, national defence and amending the country's constitution.

EDMONTON — A group demanding the separation of the western provinces from the rest of Canada says its only a matter of time before their goal becomes reality, as an application to be recognized as federal political party is submitted to Elections Canada.  

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney has said he doesn't support separation. He recently announced a panel that will study measures to give the province more autonomy, like establishing a provincial police force or pulling out of the Canada Pension Plan.

Separatism advocates gathered in Calgary Saturday night to discuss the goals of Wexit Alberta and its national counterpart, Wexit Canada.

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

"Its not a left wing versus a right wing thing. The reality is that confederation does not work for western Canada," said the groups co-founder, Peter Downing.

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"If the rest of Canada wants to have a constitutional convention to fix the problems, now is probably the time to do it."

Downing told CTV News Calgary hed run as party leader of Wexit Canada if it is federally recognized.

The separatist movement has grown since Justin Trudeaus Liberal Party was reelected as government without securing a single seat in Alberta.  

Supporters have claimed unfair treatment by Ottawa in the form of the carbon tax, Bills C-69 and C-48, and the equalization formula—or, as Downing put it, "a tyranny of the majority."  

"This isnt just about getting one pipeline—this is about peoples lives and futures. And its being taken away capriciously by policy coming out of eastern Canada," he commented.

Mount Royal University political scientist Lori Williams called the Wexit movement a product of western anger that has historically ebbed and flowed as Albertas relationship with Ottawa evolved.

"I think every time Ottawa does something that is seen as not being in the interest of Alberta, or the west, well see a rise of this sentiment again," Williams told CTV News Calgary.  

While she said a separatist party could undermine a western desire to have a united voice in the federal government, Williams noted the concerns of Wexit have perhaps been heard more clearly than before.  

Downing said the group is undeterred by both Alberta Premier Jason Kenneys recent touting of a "fairer deal" from Canada rather than western separation, and public criticism of Wexit as griping.

"At the end of the day, you want to keep saying that? Thats fine. Watch these rallies grow," Downing said.

"Watch us put more pressure on the premier of Alberta to implement not just the Firewall protocol, which hes had to start to implement now, but watch the referendum on separation and well see whos laughing."

Its expected to be the last rally before the party ventures to gain support outside of Alberta in 2020.

Lorne Gibson has held the position since it was created in 2018 and prior to his departure, he was investigation allegations of illegal donations in the 2017 UCP leadership contest.