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Rising anger

Airdrie Our View_text

Anger was clearly on display at the Jan. 27 Fair Deal Panel meeting in Airdrie.

Speakers 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.”

Certainly, Alberta is struggling. Our main industry is hurting, and when oil is hurting so are we.

Perhaps more telling than the anger, was the fear of speaking against it.

Of the 30-plus speakers, only a handful offered opinions differing from the panel’s mandate letter. And 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 as a province.