Anger was clearly on display at the Jan. 27 Fair Deal Panel meeting in Airdrie.
The frustration of many speakers was clear as they attacked Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and a federal government they believe has created an “abusive relationship,” is “killing the Alberta energy industry” and shows “a lack of understanding” toward the needs of Albertans.
Certainly, Alberta is struggling, and we can see why many are demanding change. The perception of our main industry is hurting it, and when oil is hurting so are we.
Perhaps more telling than the anger, however, was the fear of speaking against it.
Of the more than 30 speakers at the event, only a handful offered opinions differing from the nine possible action plans being considered by the panel. And at least a few people in attendance told us they fear repercussion if they expressed a desire to work with the federal government to address concerns.
Is this what we’ve come to? Fighting not only with our countrymen but with our neighbours, as well. Is this us-against-them attitude truly beneficial?
While we can’t say whether this Fair Deal Panel is where the province should be focusing its resources, it is clear the relationship between Alberta and the federal government has long been one of dysfunction and something needs to be done to appease the people.
We can only hope it does not come at the cost of our identity and sustainability.