West Coast Alienation

If Alberta and Saskatchewan are the abused children of confederation, the west coast is the abandon child of confederation. The national government pays little attention to the west coast and the feeling is largely reciprocated. And the problem with any abandon child is that they don’t really know what they are missing. The residents of the west coast have no idea what it is to have a supportive national government that pays attention to the issues of the region and actually attempts to solve the problems. They just kind of take care of themselves and what happens on the other side of the rocks doesn’t really matter. And for the national government, they just take the tax revenues, transfer some of it through equalization payments to provinces that it does care about and shows up to look for some votes every four years or so.

There are many examples of how the west coast is irrelevant to the national government. Allowing the Asian gangs to get such a strong foothold in Vancouver is one of them. Doing nothing in the face of clear evidence of massive money laundering in casinos and in the real estate market has damaged the city perhaps irreparably. Allowing the homelessness disaster to accumulate is a national issue and a national disgrace in possibly the most beautiful city in the world. More recently, the arrogance of the national government shuttering the $2.0 billion per year cruise industry without even talking to Alaska and Washington start portrays the complete disregard for the city. It is commonly believed that if any of these things had happened in Toronto or Montreal, the federal government would have addressed its responsibilities instead of doing nothing as it did in Vancouver.

There are those that believe that even putting the only oil and gas pipeline that the national government approved right down the throat of such a beautiful city was somewhere between a provocation (hoping that demonstrators would stop the pipeline) or an attempt to get Alberta and BC at odds with each other (which it certainly has done) in an old colonial trick of divide and conquer. Many believe that there were many other far more acceptable alternatives for the location of the pipeline.

Creative Humanism believes that people should not be disconnected from the governance process that affects their lives. That applies even to people that live in fabulously beautiful locations with easy abundance and the ability to be self-reliant. Homelessness, unaffordable housing, money laundering, nurturing of the economy are all national issues that require the attention of an informed and engaged national government. If that doesn’t happen, what is the reason to be part of a confederation?

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