In the Chamber -- Grant Mitchell's Blog

Energy as a Unity Issue

Posted 3/11/2009 by Grant Mitchell


Michael Ignatieff was in Edmonton recently speaking at a sold out Chamber of Commerce lunch and an overflowing dinner in the evening.


The central theme of his comments was unity.  As he so often does on so many different questions, Mr. Ignatieff has brought a new, compelling and insightful look at the question of national unity. He makes the case that energy has so often been used as a wedge issue in Canadian politics. Alberta bore the brunt of this kind of politics in the 1980’s, but that is not the only case. The NL/Quebec dispute over their hydro electric agreement, the tension over oil sands development and the current Williams/Harper fight over treating NL fairly in light of its not yet developed energy wealth are several other instances.


The politics of division are not limited to energy. Harper’s decision to attack the coalition on the grounds of its relationship to sovereigntists was characterized by its divisiveness.


Mr. Ignatieff makes the point that a strong Canada has to be a united Canada. This point is fundamental to his efforts to build a truly national party that can form a truly pan Canadian government.


This argument is starting to resonate in Alberta.

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