Monday, 18 November 2002

Star #51: Alberta?

Colby Cosh discusses a UPI article by James C. Bennett; apparently, secessionist sentiment is running high in "Canada's Texas." Alberta (unlike Quebec) is a huge net contributor to Canada's federal budget; due to the nature of Canada's power-sharing, most services are provided by the provinces through funds redistributed by the national government via block grants.

One of the ironies of Canada is that its constitution, the British North America Act of 1867, was specifically designed to forestall the secessionist problems embodied in the United States (who, after all, had just come out of a bloody civil war that at least in part was over the relative powers of the state and national governments). However, the division of responsibility embodied in the BNA Act has led to a political environment where the provinces have much more sway over Canada's national policies than states do in the United States.