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  1. I came across this cartoon recently and I laughed out loud. It's perfect, not because of its intended message, but because it is the perfect caricature of western alienation. And let's be clear, when we say western alienation, we really mean Alberta with support from Saskatchewan and the oil producing parts of BC. (We who are truly on the west part of Canada probably have less in common with Alberta than with the maritime provinces). This is the image that Brad Wall and his acolytes see when they look at Canada. Poor Alberta and Saskatchewan doing all the work that will benefit everyone but the freeloaders in Ontario and Quebec don't appreciate it. Meanwhile, 6 provinces and 3 territories don't even exist. In case anyone doesn't get it, this is the image they have when Alberta is selflessly trying to build a pipeline to pump their toxic sludge across Canada to save this great nation but the ungrateful NIMBY's in Ontario and Quebec are too stupid to get it. The reality is that Alberta and Saskatchewan, with their gold-rush mentality on shipping raw commodities as fast as possible, put Canada in this vulnerable state by artificially inflating the dollar and tilting the economy towards less skilled. more volatile economic pursuits. Meanwhile, Ontario, Quebec, BC and the other provinces, with their more diversified and sustainable economies, are now providing a stabilizing influence. Full disclosure: I lived in Alberta and was unemployed with few marketable skills during the height of the recession in the early 80's. I heard all of the stories (mostly nonsense) about how it was all the fault of the National Energy Policy. The truth was that Alberta allowed its economy to become too dependent on a single volatile economy and didn't use the good times to diversify. And we paid the price when the inevitable downturn hit. In other words, exactly the same situation as now.
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