What is ‘Wexit’? Part Two: Political Frustration | Tony Peters
This article is part two of a series of articles on the movement for the Western Provinces of Canada to secede from the Union (termed, ‘Wexit’). This article was kindly provided by Tony Peters, and explores the origins of the frustration experienced with the central government from the provinces.
I want to start by stating that although some of the things I state may seem slightly offensive at first glance, but before getting upset and worked up about it, I encourage you to think, stop, and really think. Don’t be offended so easily, it only gets in the way of progress. Changes are made by people stating opinions and meshing all of these opinions together, this is what makes up our World, and more importantly our Great Nation of Canada. Everything I say, is said with the most utmost respect. Often, we search and crave to find offense where none is intended. Open your minds, open your eyes, don’t be so narrow in your thoughts.
Here in Canada, we have several basic and fundamental issues, like all other countries. Our problems, sadly, start from the top and work their way down to the bottom. These problems are as follows, and I will cover each of these problems throughout this essay.
- Our electoral system is outdated and needs reform
- Equalization Payments
- Amount of power focused in 2 provinces
- Unequal equality
- Lack of leadership
- Lacklustre immigration policies
Reforming the Electoral System
In our electoral system, we use a first-past-the-post system. This type of system works in theory, so long as the seat distribution matches the populations of the whole country. That means that the population bases that are small should have fewer seats in Parliament. In Canada, however, this is not the case. Our representation does not reflect the population of Canada, which show the Conservatives had a small victory in obtaining the popular vote, but lost by a couple of dozen seats to the Liberals in our 2019 election.
If we then take a closer look at this system, we find that the Maritime provinces have much smaller population bases than many ridings in the West, yet PEI has 4 seats representing them in the House of Commons for just over 142,000 voters, where the Western ridings have one seat for much larger population bases. This leads to inequalities in representation and unrest in the areas, like Western Canada, who feel that their voices are not heard. A good point, considering that by the time that the election is closed for Eastern voters, the election has already been called, the West just determines Minority or Majority, but sometimes not even that. All ridings that have less than 50,000 voters, need to be combined with surrounding ridings, so that it better reflects other ridings, with the exception of the Territories of course. This is exactly what has led to this disconnect felt between the Eastern and Western halves of this Great Nation we call Canada.
You may be thinking, “What then does equal representation really look like?”. Equal representation would involve taking a closer look at where the country has the greatest population bases, and awarding the appropriate number of seats, then taking away seats from less populated areas, combine these ridings to match that of the more heavily populated areas. So give PEI, for example, 1 seat in Parliament instead of 4. Making representation accurately reflect the voter base in these areas, will mean policies that actually reflect the views of Canadians as a whole, not just 2 provinces. It will also mean parties and leaders elected that actually reflect popular vote. Equal representation would also reduce the occurrences of our Prime Minister Trudeau openly declaring war on the Western Provinces. He has done this by his speech right before the election, saying he will fight the oil industry, pipelines, and anyone who fights for them. A Prime Minister should not EVER say this about the economy that has supported and propped up this country financially, and should be encouraging all parts of the country. The fact that he still won re-election, speaks volumes about the lack of equal representation. In addition, the implementation of the Carbon Tax, was a direct shot across the bows of the Western ship. This has only been implemented for a short period of time and yet it is costing farmers, businesses, the oil industry, truckers, and each individual a tonne of money that few can afford. The adding of a Federal Tax on the Carbon Tax, is also repulsive, charging a service tax on a tax the majority of Canadians feel is a complete disservice? To top that off, as usual Trudeau has completely ignored the complaints of the Western Provinces and of many Canadians against the tax. He claims that it is helping Canadians through rebates they get, but it is actually causing more harm than good, these cheap parlor tricks of rebates, is a smoke screen to lessen anger, but does not cover the fact that it does not replace the immediate cost of the tax, and the devastation it is causing our industries that are supposed to be supplying money for the country as a whole. Proper distribution of representation, would mean the voice of the majority is heard and acted upon. To add insult to injury the Federal Government has completely ignored the suicide rate rise in Alberta since the oil field collapse. These deaths lay mainly at the hands of Trudeau and his American backers.
The next issue is the “Equalization” payments. These payments do not accurately represent the amount of money each province brings in each year. This was originally set up with the intent of providing money to keep the “have not” provinces afloat. Instead it has been abused and ignored by numerous Prime Ministers of all parties. Payments like these, need to changed and adjusted each year based on profits, or done away with completely, so that this abuse is not done so easily. Either do away with it altogether, so that each province supports themselves, or make them truly reflect the money each province has. It is not right or just to have 2 provinces like Alberta and Saskatchewan, more so Alberta, hemorrhaging funds after provinces they support through equalization payments, use that money to destroy these provinces. Quebec is certainly not a “have not” province, and should be PAYING equalization payments, not taking the largest slice of them, over 13 billion a year. Alberta and Saskatchewan have been in deficits since the Liberal Party bought and then failed to proceed with the pipeline developing, that would keep their economies strong, just because a very slim margin of people in a microscopic portion of the country, want it stopped.
Which brings me to my next point that needs addressing right away. The amount of power that two provinces out of 13 provinces and territories, have over the rest of the country. I had touched on this briefly before, but will look at it a bit more closely now. Ontario and Quebec determine who is in power, and influence/decide all of our policies as a result. In our 2019 election, the Bloc Party was elected heavily in Quebec. This means that they will further push through policies, with the Liberals, who are packed with Francophones sympathetic to Quebec, that are in Quebec’s favour. Their leader, in his speech after the election, stated that he will only work with the government on a case-by-case basis, and only if he feels it benefits Quebec. This self-focus is detrimental to our Country’s unity. The greed from Quebec has drained the funds from our Nation’s accounts for far too long. Why does one province dictate terms and make demands that the rest of the country cow-toes to? Ontario and Quebec need to start thinking about Canada as a whole, not focus only on themselves. We are a COUNTRY, not a collection of people bred to serve and feed 2 provinces. All Canadians deserve a say and should be able to influence policy, deciding how our country is run, and how funds are spent. One province, Quebec, should not be given special rights and regulations, separate from the rest of the country, they are not above the rest of us. We are all equal, a part of Canada, not meant to be walked all over. Every province, territory, and member of our Great Country, deserves the same rights, laws, and freedoms, if Quebec does not like living by the same rules and regulations as the rest of us, then let them leave, instead of forcing the West to leave. We live in a wonderfully free country, and are not here to serve the interests of only Ontario and Quebec.
Which leads me to my next point. And before I continue, let me reiterate not to get offended and fly off the handle at me. Read it, think on it, I am not trying to offend, nor insult any groups, races, religions, nor genders, only to summarize the feelings and sentiments I have heard, researched, and am now reflecting on. In Canada we have many groups asking for and demanding equality, and equality is the best thing for the world and our country. That being said, the groups we have demanding equality, and this is the part that may get people defensive, but think about the truth behind the statements before getting upset, they already have many more rights than the rest of the country. Equality means that every person is “equal” and is entitled to the same rights, freedoms, and opportunities, and follow the same laws. This, however, is not the case. First and foremost, we have Quebec, as mentioned before, who have far more rights, privileges, and their own set of laws that they abide by, somethings that no other province has the ability to do, yes we can make some of our own laws, just not to the extent that Quebec is able to. They force people to speak French mainly, and have French signage or they are unable to set up a business. If other provinces were to try to implement regulations like this in regards to English, which we would never do, there would be a huge uproar from the Francophone community in Canada, as there should be. This is a free country, English and French are our official languages, and as such, are entitled to the same rights. People of any language have the right to have signage in their language and to speak whatever language they choose, whether English or French. That being said, you do have to still be respectful of the main language of the area, and try to communicate as best you can, with the area’s language. Quebec should also not have separate tax laws, and get special treatment/funding for their colleges/universities. Just read today, an article in which Liberal MP Steven Guilbeault has inaccurately stated through Twitter that 70% of Canadians voted for Carbon Tax in the past election, and then goes on to rub in the Western Provinces faces, that fighting the tax was lost in court twice. Accuracy is key, and if he actually looked at the votes, he would see that in actuality, more Canadians voted for parties that oppose it, but that isn’t really what the election was about, it was about, and as a politician he should realize that elections are about more than one point on a platform. Rubbing the tax in Western Canadian faces is not the way to create unity and heal wounds, especially since he gladly accepts the equalization payments that get shipped his way from the West.
The next group that is demanding equality, and deserves equality, is our nations forefathers, the Aboriginal or First Nations people. With these different tribes, it does get complex with different treaties and agreements between tribes. Many live on reserve land and yet many still live off of the reserve, choosing to work in other cities or towns. This applies to all, though mostly those still on reserves. They are given special rights due to the aforementioned treaties, that were signed long ago. I am not saying that they do not deserve the status they have; all I am saying is that these treaties are outdated. Both sides need to come together and make new treaties that are more modern and suited to our current situation and standards. We as Canadians embrace all people, it is what makes our country the wonderful place it is. With that though comes responsibilities. Each group needs to be dealt with fairly and with EQUALITY in mind. To get back to treaties, special hunting rights should be changed to meet the hunting/fishing rights of ALL Canadian citizens. Money should not be given just to attend school, even if said person only attends the bare minimum of classes. Handing money out each month is not the right move, along with reserving spots in programs/professions. Removing all at once is not a good solution, it has to be done gradually, with respect for the individuals involved. Help our fellow Canadians, and your tribal members, become self-sufficient and have a true pride in themselves and their heritage. Taking handouts, no matter who the person, breeds laziness, no matter which group/race/religion/gender/age. Take a look at our welfare system for example, and how many on welfare don’t even have the pride or desire to go out and find jobs, again some people have no choice but to be on the program, just too many abuse it, so it also needs reformation.
Aboriginal heritage and culture are both fascinating and intriguing, filled with much positive and some negative, just like every single cultural group on the planet. We have all had bad things happen to us, and each group has also had negative moments in the millennia we have existed. Forgive the past, don’t forget, just forgive, let it lie there. Allow yourselves to move on and better yourselves, by focusing on the positives of your wonderful culture. Getting stuck focusing on the negative parts of history and your lives makes it impossible to move beyond. Trust me, I have had a lot of awful things in my life, which have caused PTSD, but I have had to accept, forgive, and move forward. Never forget, as it is a part of you, but don’t let these events distract you from what you need to do to move ahead. Positivity is the only way to get through life and make changes in your life, or the life of your people. It will greatly improve your people’s lives and their current situation.
Another group of people is our immigrants, who do fill necessary roles in our country and workforce, but when you come to Canada, take on customs and traditions, work to fit in to our society as a whole. Too many, and no I am not saying all, expect us to accommodate their beliefs, customs, and traditions. Complaining about our holidays and our laws regarding their clothing while working, voting, etc. These customs, beliefs, traditions, holidays, and laws, make up what it means to be Canadian, something we should take pride in, and not be willing to compromise on. I don’t move to a foreign country and expect them to change everything that they are as a country or people, just to accommodate me. I implore you to not come to our country and alienate us, you are quite welcome to our country, just don’t force changes on my country. Stop taking advantage of our hospitality, and more importantly, don’t take advantage of a Prime Minister who is weak.
Onto the next group. This one deserves a short statement before it. I am all for women’s rights, 100% behind that. Women and men should have equal pay, equal opportunity, and everything else that the other gender has. With that though comes making sure you are not demanding more than then equality, not special rights, like having positions reserved in schools or at workplaces. School openings and jobs should be reserved for whomever, despite race, gender, religion, or lifestyle choice, is most qualified. If that happens to be a woman, great, this would be the case in many situations, but you need to be more qualified and deserve it more based on merit. There would only be a few exceptions to this in fields that involve a certain race, gender, religion, or lifestyle choice, then those would be the ones who should be singled out for that particular job.
The final group that I will focus on is again, not meant to attack, or knock down this group. I am referring to those in the pride movement. I am just fine with you taking a firm stance for your beliefs, lifestyle choice, and your rights, even if it isn’t my lifestyle choice. We all have our lifestyle and beliefs we are entitled to. I do have a problem with a religious institution being forced to perform marriages when it goes against their beliefs and lifestyle choices. Your beliefs and lifestyle are not better than anyone else’s, forcing yours on someone else does not bridge any divides. In fact, what it really does is cause divides and makes these groups more set against you. We all need to understand that we are each unique and wonderfully created, and quit forcing our choices on others. We are all equal, we all deserve respect, but it has to go both ways, and that is not to say the Pride movement is the only party guilty of this, no quite the opposite, it has to come from all Canadians. Forcing causes prejudice and anger. Many of the things being demanded are not about equality but about special rights and privileges. Equality should be the goal, as is claimed, not gaining special treatment. The problem also comes with parades and weeks set aside for Pride weeks, or even other racial weeks. Why should this be done for one group of people, and not for every other group of people? When suggested by a few people jokingly, that they need a heterosexual parade or particular day/week, they are deemed prejudiced and against Pride groups in general, which is not the case. Discrimination has nothing to do with this at all in most cases, it is a feeling like they are being cast aside and discriminated against in return, they don’t want things shoved down their throats, as the Pride groups do not want anti-pride sentiments shoved down theirs. If this movement goes against personal beliefs or religions, it is discriminatory and antagonistic to expect them to change their beliefs or religion just to accommodate, whether Christian, Jewish, Muslim, etc. This is a matter of differing stances and everyone’s right to believe in their own religion/lifestyle. I do commend everyone in the Pride movement for having the incredible courage to come out and stand up for yourselves, though in many cases this could be done with more tact, bringing the desire for TRUE equality in mind, not special rights.
This all comes down to one thing. We are all Human, we are all Canadians, we are all uniquely different, but we are all EQUAL, and as such, no one deserves special treatment. Each human has the same value, as such the same rights, laws, and opportunities should be given to all. We all deserve what we are promised, equality.
Lack of Leadership
On to the next point. I spent more time on equality than was intended, it is just so important that we all are equal and treated as such. Lack of leadership is a huge issue in Canada right now. Our leader does not speak with confidence, bumbling through sentences, dodging questions completely, never bothering to answer Canadians as a whole. He does not lead with confidence either, just a cocky arrogance he inherited from his father. His integrity and ethics are yet to be located. Caught insider trading, defrauding Canadians out of tax dollars to boost his personal residences, accepting bribes in the form of trips and vacations, forcing caucus members and the attorney general to do his bidding, accused of groping a woman, accused of pedophilia, and a blatant disregard for the wishes of his people, Canadians. He continues to ignore most of Canada and never fulfils promises, then jokes about it later, and can’t balance a budget. Never mind meddling in the ethics committees that investigate him, abuse of power with no accountability.
He claims to be a feminist, but women who leave his party claim the exact opposite. He embarrasses Canada abroad in every country he goes to, bringing shame upon our proud country, making us the laughing stock of the world. Then we get to all the foreign deals he has failed us on, money he has cost our country by spending without restraint, giving Canada it’s largest deficit in years, easily corrected by fixing our farming and oil industries. Finally, his mismanagement of our resources has been detrimental, and his actions have driven a further wedge into the divide and disconnect our country feels. He will be the cause of our nation’s folly, it’s ultimate destruction. Which is what the American organizations backing and secretly funding Trudeau desire, a humbled Canada, allowing them to shut down all of our resources, to bolster their own agendas.
Lacklustre Immigration Policies
The final point is our lacklustre immigration policies. I won’t spend a lot of time on as I covered some of this before. Immigration is a good thing in moderation. Our unique diversity makes us Canadian and gives us pride as a nation. We do need to have strict guidelines and rules for it, as we used to, but Trudeau and the Liberal Party have weakened these guidelines and rules. We now have far more immigration than our country and economy can realistically support. We also have made it too easy to sneak terrorists into the country, not vetting more strictly in known terrorist-supporting countries (same with buying oil from them, when we know exactly where the money goes to). This has endangered our Canadian citizens, as well as our neighbors to the south. We have also diluted our own traditions to the point of losing our identity of what it means to be a Canadian. If asked what it means to be Canadian, I would struggle to come up with a clear picture. Some immigration is a wonderful thing, it just needs to be cautiously and in moderation.
To conclude, this is a beautiful country. A country I love and would hate to leave. Canada is a country in great turmoil, A country that is so full of division, and frustration, and very little respect between the divisive parties, that it threatens to tear apart our Great Nation. If nothing is done to fix this division, Canada will not survive. Our Nation will simply implode, splintering the Confederation that our forefathers fought to create and keep together. If changes are not made to show that every province, West or East, matters and that their voices are heard, we will lose our Canada. Canada will become a memory, a folklore, a story passed on to our future generations. I, along with many others in this Nation, call for our Prime Minister to step up, listen to the voices of Canada, for one moment in your life. Prime Minister Trudeau, do not be the cause of our Nation dissolving. You are already to blame for this growing discord between the halves of our country. Show Canada that you truly know how to care about something beyond yourself and not just act at it. Believe it, your actions speak volumes, the same actions that right now are speaking hate. Show Canada that you care, that you are even capable of showing true concern. Give all provinces and territories proper representation, consider ALL of our resources and show RESPECT for those who make up our Great Nation. We are ALL Canadians.
This article was part of a series on ‘Wexit’, the movement in Western Canadian provinces to secede from the union.