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What is 'an Albertan', anyway?


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I've heard somewhere that some people are 'proud to be Albertans'. No offense, but what is that supposed to mean? Proud to be [an inhabitant of a particular geographic area]??? I don't get it.

It means they love the cowboy thang, they believe strongly in feudalistic family values, and are proud advocates the American boot-licking way of life.

If you think they are irrational now, just wait until that oil money moves elsewhere. I'd sudjest they move to Saudi Arabia to escape Canada's communist tyranny. :rolleyes:

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August:

I have no intention of ever again going through the exercises I once did over Quebec. If you don't think Francophone Quebeckers were brainwashed, then you don't know as much about Quebec history as I thought you did. And, how do you think bringing this to a division of "Left" and "Right" eneters into it?

Ticker, I have dealt with all your points about Alberta in Canada previously. If you wish to remain ignorant, then that is your concern. If you don't, then read and learn.

As for the NEP, then you are an exemplar of what I have said about the propagandising of local demagoguery. You know only what you have heard from the Alberta firsters. For Ontario, again read what I wrote earlier. It will help you to cease from appearing foolish.

Your point about "if an Ontario Premier had said those things," is not a good one. It is just too silly for words. If one had, then he would have made himself appear to be as inept and self serving as Klein does. Harris was even more stupid than Klein and tried similar idiocies. His own cabinet would not let him go so far as to put himself in the position of being taken slowly apart by whoever was the PM of Canada.

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August:

I have no intention of ever again going through the exercises I once did over Quebec. If you don't think Francophone Quebeckers were brainwashed, then you don't know as much about Quebec history as I thought you did. And, how do you think bringing this to a division of "Left" and "Right" eneters into it?

Ticker, I have dealt with all your points about Alberta in Canada previously. If you wish to remain ignorant, then that is your concern. If you don't, then read and learn.

As for the NEP, then you are an exemplar of what I have said about the propagandising of local demagoguery. You know only what you have heard from the Alberta firsters. For Ontario, again read what I wrote earlier. It will help you to cease from appearing foolish.

Your point about "if an Ontario Premier had said those things," is not a good one. It is just too silly for words. If one had, then he would have made himself appear to be as inept and self serving as Klein does. Harris was even more stupid than Klein and tried similar idiocies. His own cabinet would not let him go so far as to put himself in the position of being taken slowly apart by whoever was the PM of Canada.

No I know what I saw not hearing from Albertans of what it was like back in the 80s. I remember skyscrapers that stopped and ended up being just holes in the ground for a couple of years. The province that provides 10 times as much as Ontario in equalization on a per person bases was reduced to recovering a few years after the Maritimes. You will never convince Albertans it was all propaganda.

The NEP was discrimination on a massive scale. The damage done to Alberta's economy was debilitating and pervasive. Its effects weren't immediate but by 1983 thousands of businesses had gone broke or just given up. The real estate market collapsed forcing thousands of people to just walk away from their investment. There were 2000 engineers that lost their jobs in 1983 and I was one of them. Just imagine the furor in Ontario if an act of parliament cost 8000 engineers their jobs. The effect lasted long past the end of the NEP. I considered myself lucky that I also had a business education to fall back on. I signed on to help a very good friend save his business which employed 25 people. We had to impose 30% wage cuts and drop all benefits just to stay alive. And before any of you commies think we just put it on the backs of the workers, my friend and I collected salaries of $15,000 per year and worked about 80 hours a week for the next 3 years. The economy was finally strong enough by 1986 that the business started growing again and I moved on.

How about an ex liberal premier from the Maritimes during the election saying they should scrap a funding program to the Maritimes I never heard a bit of coverage from the media on that one. But if haprer or anyone of the conservatives said it the media would have their mics in front of harper the same day demanding clarification.

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If an Ontario Premier mentioned private Medicare the most he would get is a one time ‘this is not the liberal way of doing things’ instead of trying to drive the point home everytime there was a chance to say something to the media and risk offending voters if they liked their Premier.

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The NEP did not wreak devastation on Alberta. That is the propaganda. The NEP was about national security in energy supplies. Canada was in a serious deficit in balance of trade of energy at the time when there was a world crisis in the making. Alberta was guaranteed a price for it oil that would be no more than $4 a barrel less than world prices.

At the same time there was an ambitious plan to expand exploration an production in Alberta to meet all Canadian requirements. This included Canadianising the industry as far as possible to keep us from what we have since fallen into as most of the mid-sized companies have fallen into American hands.

What followed was what all Canada and the industrialized nations experienced: a major recession that affected us all. That was a normal economic cycle exacerbated by the oil crisis and the plunging prices of world oil.

I, too, was in Alberta for the early stages and in a business that had connection to hundreds of the players in the oil patch. Not too many of them blamed the NEP until the politicians began playing their games.

As for Ontario and Medicare, I suggest again, that you read my earlier posts about Ontario and "control" of the political process.

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(Why is that whenever a person disagrees with someone on the Left, the person is assumed to have been "conditioned" or "brainwashed".)

It is more like the other way around Canadian’s have been brainwashed that it is the left way to do things.

There are 3 countries in the world that won't allow private Medicare to co exist with the public system they are communist Cuba communist North Korea and Canada - the place that claims to be more free enterprise then allot of European countries. Why is it when someone brings up the word private the left points to the US and says it would be terrible? There is still France and Sweden with a 2 tier Medicare setup but it doesn't have the same scare value as saying that terrible US setup.

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The NEP did not wreak devastation on Alberta. That is the propaganda. The NEP was about national security in energy supplies. Canada was in a serious deficit in balance of trade of energy at the time when there was a world crisis in the making. Alberta was guaranteed a price for it oil that would be no more than $4 a barrel less than world prices.
What would Quebec do if it was not allowed to sell electricity outside of the province at world prices? How would the CAW respond if Ontario car workers were obliged to sell their services at 25% less than before because of "national security".

No federal government would ever impose such policies because it would never be re-elected. Yet the federal Liberal Party did exactly that in Alberta.

I am no Albertan apologist so let me take a different tack. The NEP was just plain dumb. It was bad for Canada.

The federal government should not be mixed up in the management of an industry. Bureaucrats in Ottawa don't have the ability, knowledge, skill or incentives to make wise decisions about an industry several thousand kilometers away. Ultimately, that's why the Soviet Union collapsed.

This included Canadianising the industry as far as possible to keep us from what we have since fallen into as most of the mid-sized companies have fallen into American hands.
Do you mean that Canadian capitalists better than American capitalists?

"Canadianize" the industry just means making the Conrad Blacks, Ted Rogers, Ken Thomsons and Irvings richer. In fact, I can understand why that gang would silently love to see "Canadian nationalists" in favour of Foreign Investment Review.

Anyone remember Dome Petroleum?

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The only thing wrong with the NEP was that prices collapsed later. That hurt Alberta which was already suffering, along with everyone else, from the recession. And Alberta could sell outside the country at world prices. The NEP ended and should have had a better adjustment mechanism.

You forget that the export markets for automobiles, Quebec energy etc. are also outside the country. Lower prices for Canadians would have meant subsidised prices and that was not the case with oil. Now, of course, we cannot protect our own economy because of the Free Trade Agreements that confirm American control.There would be no way of forcing export sales at less than market prices. There is no comparison between the situations. Alberta was not being forced to sell its oil at a loss but at a lower price for home consumption.

I have heard of Dome. Have you heard of Central Del Rio; Western Decalta' Home Oil; and a hundred others? They have all gone South since the NEP collapsed.

Canadianizing the industry did not mean making any particular individuals rich. It meant keeping those companies in the hands of the hundreds of thousands of Canadian investors who owned them. It meant not sending decades of profits to Texas in exchange for a sort term capital gain.

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Ticker!

You should take a better look at those supposedly two tier systems. There is at least as much private delivery in Canada and probably more.

Those countries include a whole lot more under the public systems and the parts that are private are those that can be private without affecting the delivery of health care. That applies in most European nations.

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As August says the NEP was a dumb idea.

If the liberals tried it in Quebec or Ontario the conservatives would be in power the next 15 years.... but no politician is that dumb.

eureka you forgot to mention the back in rule where the feds took 25% of revenues away from oil the companies. Or the bit about the rigs going from 650 to 150 (the lowest number since the 60s) to find a friendlier climate in the US. Ignore the lost jobs that were directly related to the oil companies like the employees. There was also the spin-off jobs like the rig equipment suppliers that didn't have customers left to help pay the bills.

Economist say Alberta would have gone through a mild recession if it wasn't for the double whammy of having to deal with the NEP also... and those were not Alberta economist.

The liberals liked to make a big deal of how the reform and alliance wasn't a national party because they didn't have support from Quebec. Does that mean the liberals weren't a national party in the 80s when they didn't have support from Alberta or is the present liberal government not a national one because it doesn't have support from Sask.

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I did not forget to mention those things. The tax did not destroy Alberta and the recession coud not have been mild. The whole Western world went into the deepest recession since the 1930's. How would Alberta have been immune from that?

Most of those rigs pulled out in desperation not because of the NEP but because of the collapse in worlf oil prices. The NEP was intended to increase exploration: exploration by Canadian companies. That did not happen because of pricing.

Why not refine your ideas of what makes a national party by looking at the support levels across Canada? They mean far more than a number of seats in any given election.

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The only thing wrong with the NEP was that prices collapsed later. That hurt Alberta which was already suffering, along with everyone else, from the recession. And Alberta could sell outside the country at world prices. The NEP ended and should have had a better adjustment mechanism.
eureka, those are precisely the excuses Soviet and Ottawa bureaucrats lay out when their best laid plans don't turn out as, well, planned. (The Soviet bureaucrats could also just make up numbers; in Ottawa, they try and hide them.)

The NEP was based on rising world oil prices (predictions made by bureaucrats who would suffer no personal loss from bad predictions) and the NEP set up all manner of exploration and development subsidies (decided by bureaucrats who were using other people's money to give to other people).

The NEP was a disaster waiting to happen.

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Still hoping you'll expand upon what you see as the key distinction that makes Quebec a spleen rather than another lobe;
Uh, language? Religion? History? Law? Cultural attitudes?

You certainly don't have to convince me of any of that. However, what I'm hoping for from Mr Terrible is some indication of where he feels the line is drawn and why he feels that way. Quebec's an easy one... what about Nova Scotia? So far, Sweal has offered only Quebec's status prior to confederation as a justification of why he considers it a spleen rather than a lobe of a larger liver. The same could be said of most of the other provinces, excepting Saskatchewan, Alberta, and arguably Manitoba.

I find the argument being offered to me... that predating confederation is the key distinction... lacks something. BC's a pride-inspiring entity because it existed as a political entity prior to 1867, while Alberta is not as it was formed later? When in practice they are equivalent in every sense and fulfill the same role in their citizens' lives? No, I'm not buying that that's a key distinction.

As they say about Europe, "Too much history, not enough geography."  And as they say about Alberta, "Too much geography, not enough history."

The history here might not be as long as in other parts of the country, but as I've mentioned, it is something I feel closely connected to by my family's involvement in it. Do achievements only have value after they've been expired for X number of generations?

eureka seems to argue that indeed, not being far enough in the past is a knock on the idea that Albertans might be proud. Again, not particularly convincing as I see it.

I'm inclined to think that TS feels that Albertans simply don't have enough gravitas to form a pride-inspiring entity. But Canada, for some reason, does.

I suspect you're correct.

-kimmy

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I am not arguing about the distance from the past, whatever that may mean. I think that what I say points to the fallacy of your provincial loyalty.

Most Albertans have a connection with Canada that predates the Alberta connection. Those that are from pre-Confederation heritage, should be able to make the connection with Canada that their grandparents had. They were immigrants to Canada not to an Alberta that did not exist. It was Canada that gave them refuge or opportunity.

August, is your argument not just supportive of mine. I certainly do not see what it disputes.

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I am not arguing about the distance from the past, whatever that may mean. I think that what I say points to the fallacy of your provincial loyalty.

I took the following portion of your previous message to mean that you felt a lengthy association was a part of the concept of pride:

The problem, Kimmy, with the "pride" of Albertans at this time in their history, is that it is misplaced. I would think that the majority of Albertans now living were from elsewhere before they were Albertans: certainly only one generation remove would take in the overwhelming majority.

So where did their pride in being Quebeckers; or Ontarians; or Newfoundlanders; or whatever, go? Alberta less than any province of Canada except, perhaps, B.C. can claim long lineage in Canada.

One would think that Albertans, from this circumstance, have more claim to being "proud Canadians" than any others.

(...)

Those Ontarians who callthemselves "proud Pntarians" often have roots deep in the past of Ontario. I have never heard anyone say it though, and I would think that Ontarians in general do not make that a condition opposed to Canadianism.

Indeed, a lot of the people who have recently come to Alberta from elsewhere are still proud of their roots (particularly the Newfoundlanders!) but I don't feel that the fact that someone originated from someplace else necessarily makes it less appropriate for them to feel pride in their new home. For instance, some of the proudest Canadians are new immigrants (recall Daniel Igali at the Sidney Olympics.)

Most Albertans have a connection with Canada that predates the Alberta connection. Those that are from pre-Confederation heritage, should be able to make the connection with Canada that their grandparents had. They were immigrants to Canada not to an Alberta that did not exist. It was Canada that gave them refuge or opportunity.

I somewhat disagree. The flood of immigrants who came to the prairies in the early 20th century weren't brought to Canada generally, they were brought to the prairies specifically. In the case of my mother's people it was a promise of religious freedom in exchange for settling the prairies. In the case of my father's, it was simply the promise of land. They weren't being offered land on Yonge Street or promised religious freedom in exchage for opening shops in Montreal... the invitation was specific to the prairies.

And there wasn't really a whole lot of Canada on the prairies at that time. The population of Alberta was under 75,000 at 1901; it quintupled within 10 years. The people people who arrived during those years were building part of Canada, but they were building something new and distinct from the parts of Canada that existed before they arrived. That they might have been Swedes or Ukrainians or Ontarians before they came west ought have little bearing on their taking pride in what they acomplished afterward.

-kimmy

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Kimmy wrote:

QUOTE (August1991 @ Jan 31 2005, 08:19 PM)

I'm inclined to think that TS feels that Albertans simply don't have enough gravitas to form a pride-inspiring entity. But Canada, for some reason, does.

I suspect you're correct.

I invite you both to re read my comments to achieve a better understanding of them. I have indicated I don't understand what basis there is for taking special pride in Alberta particularly as distinct from the entirety of Canada.

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I think you are adding to my points, Kimmy, with the population figures.

It is also worth noting something that is conveniently forgotten by the "Alberta Firsters:" that is that those people did come to Canada and that Central Canada subsidized Alberta with a per capita payment annually on Alberta's entry into Confederation.

Alberta would never have been more than a territory had it not been for the will and the money of Ontario and Quebec. The same, of course, is true of the other Prarie Provinces, though Manitoba may have had a different path.

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I think you are adding to my points, Kimmy, with the population figures.

By pointing out how few people lived in Alberta 100 years ago? I don't think that's ever been in dispute, Eureka. My dad's family wasn't here 100 years ago, and my mothers family just slightly longer.

But again, I don't think the fact that they came from elsewhere or that they haven't been in Alberta for great lengths of time diminishes what they did here after arriving. As I wrote previously,

That they might have been Swedes or Ukrainians or Ontarians before they came west ought have little bearing on their taking pride in what they acomplished afterward.
It is also worth noting something that is conveniently forgotten by the "Alberta Firsters:" that is that those people did come to Canada and that Central Canada subsidized Alberta with a per capita payment annually on Alberta's entry into Confederation.

Alberta would never have been more than a territory had it not been for the will and the money of Ontario and Quebec. The same, of course, is true of the other Prarie Provinces, though Manitoba may have had a different path.

If it hadn't been for the will and money of Great Britain, the United States would have taken all of this long ago, Ontario and Quebec included. What of it? You probably wouldn't have grown to become a successful (whatever it is you do) if your parents hadn't provided you with food and shelter in your childhood. Does that diminish your pride in the things you've accomplished since?

-kimmy

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I invite you both to re read my comments to achieve a better understanding of them.  I have indicated I don't understand what basis there is for taking special pride in Alberta particularly as distinct from the entirety of Canada.

"Achieve a better understanding of them"?

We're not exactly talking Baudelaire or Rimbaud here, TS...

Alberta, as distinct from the entirety of Canada, has its own history. The people who came to Alberta are from largely different backgrounds than the people who settled the older parts of Canada. Alberta has different industry. The people who built Alberta have their own achievements.

In anticipation that you're going to tell me none of that is sufficient to view Alberta as a separate entity within Canada, I again ask you to elaborate. You said Quebec is Yes because it predates confederation as a distinct entity. What about BC? It predates confederation as a distinct entity as well. What about Ontario? Can Bob Rae really call himself a Proud Ontarian, or is he full of crap in your opinion? I'd like you to talk more about how you're drawing these lines you seem to feel are there.

-kimmy

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I invite you both to re read my comments to achieve a better understanding of them. I have indicated I don't understand what basis there is for taking special pride in Alberta particularly as distinct from the entirety of Canada.
Can I make an univited comment?

I suspect part of the problem is that people outside of Ontario do not share the same delight for this thing called "Canada" that Ontarians seem to have. And if Ontarians reflected on it, the thing they call "Canada" is in fact Ontario.

To use an extreme and incorrect comparison, it's as if Americans were surprised to learn that Canadians were not happy to celebrate America. (America after all refers to more than the USA.)

I'll add that people in Quebec are not confused by this issue at all. Even federalists are perfectly aware what Canada is.

Kitsch is something devoid of meaning. IOW, it is open to any meaning anyone wants to give it. "Europe" is kitsch. Finns, Maltese and Irish can all say they are "Europeans" and each can have an entirely different idea of what that means.

With that said, there is more to "Canada" than there is to "Europe". Robert Bourassa used the term "superstructure" which I always thought was not bad. "Asymmetrical" is another word that comes to mind.

Lastly, I have sometimes wondered why Ontarians took this particular view of "Canada". At the risk of sounding anti-Ontario (which I am not), I have thought that Ontarians fear that Ontario without its "Canada" would just be Michigan. IOW, some kind of inferiority complex drives Ontarians to the word "Canada".

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I suspect part of the problem is that people outside of Ontario do not share the same delight for this thing called "Canada" that Ontarians seem to have. And if Ontarians reflected on it, the thing they call "Canada" is in fact Ontario.

Wouldn't this country work so much better without Ontario? Maybe Quebec too. I like Quebecers individually but collectively they're a big problem. Ah well, we can always dream.

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