Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Separation Anxiety

A poll conducted for Western Standard has found that the idea of secession of the Western provinces from Canada has moved from the periphery to the mainstream of popular political opinion.

A century of neglect, if not outright hostility, by Ottawa towards the West is bearing its bitter harvest.

Will Ottawa respond with royal commission, government programs, constitutional agreements and special legislation to redress Western Canadians' grievances as they have Quebec's?

No.

Ontario and Quebec have been joined at the hip since long before Confederation. Ontario's governing classes have always seen themselves as part of a political partnership with Quebec in some fashion. Which is why when Quebec squeaks, Ontario gets Ottawa to apply the grease.

Not so with Western Canada, which still remains a colonial outpost in the eyes of the Ontario governing classes, whose strange folk exist to send their grain and oil east and nothing else.

Ottawa will do nothing right up until the first separatist government is elected out West. Then it will firmly resolve to keep ignoring and insulting alternately.