Published: May 20, 2021
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is the ‘tie that unbinds.’ He declares Canada a “post-nation state,” and now a province (Quebec, of course), can unilaterally amend the constitution as it sees fit.
Even federal Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole agrees Quebec has the right to unilaterally amend the constitution.
For many Albertans – including the interim leader of the Maverick Party, Jay Hill – they will be angry with Quebec Premier François Legault, and Prime Minister Trudeau’s support of it; but if we truly want to be objective, this is potentially excellent news for Alberta.
It appears only one Canadian MP has the courage to step up and speak out about the opportunity here. Calgary MP Michelle Rempel-Garner believes if Quebec has the right to do so, then so should Alberta be able to play in the constitutional sandbox. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander after all.
If Alberta Premier Jason Kenney was serious about getting tough with Ottawa, this would be the way to do it. No new ground required; just follow Quebec’s lead.
It is of course, highly unlikely that he would do this. His record doesn’t support it. Once the votes of the 2019 election were counted, Kenney aligned more closely with Trudeau on the big issues than either party cares to admit.
If Quebec can unilaterally make changes to the constitution, why can’t Alberta, or BC, or Saskatchewan? Canada is a country stitched together around the idea we are north of the United States, and share some very loosely defined common values. Over the last year, we have discovered just how loosely connected those values are. Kenney himself has proven to share the authoritarian inclinations of the “Laurentian elites” he campaigned against, but the Albertans he governs by-and-large do not.
“The base” Kenney told his caucus he wants to replace, is angry with their one-time champion right now. If he wants to win them back, he should take Trudeau and O’Toole up on their approval of unilateral amendment to the constitution.