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Jesse Kline: Liberals are the threat, not the solution, to Indigenous resource prosperity – National Post

Apr 12, 2023

Removing control over natural resources from provinces won’t change that

“And let me tell you, the West will not forget.”

That’s a quote from a western Canadian who, speaking to a Toronto newspaper shortly after Alberta and Saskatchewan joined Confederation in 1905, lamented that, “The people of the West will never rest until they get provincial autonomy on the same terms as the older provinces. We want control of our own timber, of our own minerals, of our own lands.” More prescient words had not been uttered since the death of Nostradamus.

At the time, the lengthy debate in Parliament over how to carve Alberta and Saskatchewan out of the North-West Territories, lest a single mega-province become too powerful, mainly centred on education rights — namely, whether schools should be church-run or secularized.

But the federal government also chose to retain control over natural resources in the newly created provinces, ensuring they had fewer rights than the original members of Confederation. This proved a constant source of tension, especially since Ottawa was supposed to compensate them for the lost resource revenue, but ended up keeping much of the money for itself.

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