alberta independence

Alberta officially taking steps to become more independent from Canada

Alberta's premier may not be on board with Wexit, but he is taking steps to allow the province to be more independent from the federal government. 

Premier Jason Kenney announced this weekend that he'll be introducing a "Fair Deal Panel" to help advance the province's interests, according to The Canadian Press. 

He made the announcement in a speech to the conservative Manning Centre on Saturday, in which he rejected separatist arguments while introducing this plan instead.

"We are demanding a fair deal now for Alberta within Canada," he said.

Kenney said the panel will consult with Alberta residents on a multitude of new ideas, including establishing a provincial revenue agency, introducing  a formalized provincial constitution and withdrawing from the Canada Pension Plan and replacing it with a new provincial agency. 

Kenney said some of the inspiration for this idea came from Quebec, and that its purpose would be to further the interests of Albertans, such as securing and building pipelines.

He said that with this new panel, he hopes to ease the growing anxiety and fear he sees among Albertans.

"It’s expressed most devastatingly in an increase in the rate of Albertans who have taken their own lives over the past five years," Kenney said.

"The per capita rate of suicide in Alberta is 50 per cent higher than it is in Ontario."

The "Fair Deal Panel" will include Preston Manning, previous Reform Party leader, as well as other notable academics and leaders from the province.

Meanwhile, critics have accused Kenney of spreading divisive and problematic ideas among Alberta residents.

And Mount Royal University political scientist Duane Bratt told CTV News it would completely change Alberta if it goes through.

The panel will begin public consultations on November 16 until January 30, and it will then complete and submit its report to the government by March 31.

Kenney said the ideas would only be implemented following a referendum from Alberta residents. 

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