Western Alienation for the uninitiated

Publication YearIssue Date 

Editors, the Gauntlet,

Re: "WA: When Albertans cry," March 8, 2001

I too am a well-educated, enlightened sort of person, but the aforementioned column really did give me a run for my money. Now, first of all, I must agree with the writer--because she didn't grow up in the West, she really doesn't understand the gravity of the situation. However, a deeply rooted grasp of steer wrestling or curling is not required to empathize with the Westerner's plight.

First of all, "what is there for Albertans to complain about?" Is Ms. Davenport really asking this question? The situation at hand is not one of "sharing pocket change," as Eastern spin doctors have made it seem, rather it's one of giving several billion dollars annually (totaling $100 billion in the 1960s and 1970s alone), and receiving less than a thank you in return. Westerners are more than willing to participate in a form of confederation where those well-to-do provinces are able to help along the less fortunate, with one catch. We demand respect in return and the form we would like to see that in is a triple-E senate. Equal representation in government, a government which is funded by our tax dollars, I might add.

Secondly, Ms. Davenport makes some rather offensive comments pertaining to the attitudes in question. If Albertans were to receive everything they wish for, we would indeed know what to do with ourselves: we'd continue supporting the rest of the country, but receive our much-deserved recognition for the said "good deed." The fact of the matter is, it's the rest of the country who wouldn't know what hit them if indeed one day the West's other course of action is followed.