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The Alberta Agenda

In summary, the Alberta Agenda argues that Alberta should:
-create our own Alberta Pension Plan (APP).
-collect our own revenue from personal income tax as we already do for our corporate income tax
-create our own police force. The RCMP would remain in Alberta to enforce federal statutes.
-resume constitutional responsiblity for health care.
-use section 88 of the Supreme Court's decision in the Quebec Secession Reference to force Senate reform back onto the agenda
-take all possible political and legal measures to reduce the financial drain on Alberta caused by transfer payments and equalization
-utilize the Notwithstanding Clause coupled with a referendum to allow Albertans to shape our own path

These items are more controversial than they really should be, especially considering that:
-Quebec has their own pension plan, one that is better operated than the Canada Pension Plan
-Quebec already collects their own personal income tax
-Ontario, Quebec and Newfoundland have their own police forces
-these items are nothing more than adhering to the Canadian constitution
Misconceptions about the Alberta Agenda

Several people have misconceptions about the Alberta Agenda. One misconception is that the Alberta Agenda is an agenda for Alberta independence. While I wish this were true, all it is doing is Alberta claiming her constitutional rights. Alberta's constitutional rights were not the same as other provinces in Confederation. Quebec, Ontario and Newfoundland have adopted several provisions of the Alberta Agenda for themselves.
Has the presence of the Ontario Provincial Police led to secessionists gaining prominence in Ontario?

Another misconception is that the Alberta Agenda will solve all our problems within Confederation. Just as the Alberta Agenda is not the agenda of nationalist Albertans, nor is it the agenda of federalists. Has the adoption of half of the Alberta Agenda solved the problems of sovereignists in Quebec? No. It will not do the same with pro-independence forces in Alberta. The reason for this is that it doesn't address most of the grievances that Albertans have, and more importantly, it does not address the problem with Canadian Confederation: that the majorty can trample on the rights of the minority, particularly Alberta.

Related to the misconception that the Alberta Agenda will solve our problems with Canada is a misunderstanding of the tax collection section of the Alberta Agenda. The Alberta Agenda does NOT advocate the collection of federal income taxes by Alberta. It advocates the collection of Alberta personal income taxes in Alberta, in much the same way we collect corporate income taxes - we do not collect federal corporate income taxes. While some may see a solution to equalization/transfer payments by Alberta keeping the tax moneys of Albertans taxed by Ottawa, realize that that is not what the Alberta Agenda represents.
Some Provinces Were More Equal than Others

Alberta's constitutional rights were not the same as other provinces in Confederation when Alberta became a part of Canada in 1905. Alberta did not have rights to resources and natural resources, unlike every other province with the exception of Canada. Nor did Alberta have the ability to chose the educational system - this was imposed on us. This unfair treatment led to Clifford Sifton resigning from Laurier's cabinet.

This unjust situation was rectified by the Alberta Act in 1930, whereby Alberta was finally recognized as possessing her natural resources. Ironically, this wasn't done for any reason except that the Canadian government didn't think too highly of Alberta's natural resources. 
Alberta's Constitutional Rights Taken Away By Federal Government

As found in the BNA Act (found below), Alberta has exclusive powers over many areas of jurisdiction. Many times, Ottawa has decided to legislate and enforce legislation that infringes upon Alberta's jurisdiction. It did so with regard to education and natural resources from Alberta's first day in Canada. It does so today in such areas as healthcare. In fact it has such an effect in healthcare that healthcare is seen as a federal responsibility, even by some MLAs. Alberta's jurisdiction over her natural resources has been infringed upon by many schemes designed to wrest Alberta's wealth to the central government. Constitutional protection has been anything but for Alberta.
The Alberta Agenda: Good, But...

It won't save us.

Having our own pension plan will allow us to have our own pension plan, which will save hundreds of millions of dollars and allow our pension plan to actually be funded. It will not prevent Canada from raiding Alberta in order to finance their pension plan. A good idea, but the solution is one small piece among many larger ones.

Having our own police force may allow the execution of some poor laws to not be enforced, but that's problematic in itself, as it lessens the respect for all laws, not just federal laws. It is a good idea from a cost standpoint.

Collecting Alberta's personal income tax does not mean we will collect federal personal income tax, and then withhold funds from Canada until they stop stealing funds from us thru equalization/transfer payments. The federal government will continue to collect federal income taxes paid by Albertans. Collecting our own tax will eliminate any notions of being secondary to the federal government and provide money in the form of carry on interest to more than cover the costs. It will not prevent equalization/transfer payments.

The Constitution Act does not allow the Notwithstanding Clause to override all legislation, only a portion of it. It can be only done to affect fundamental freedoms, legal rights or equality rights, and even within this, it can only affect legislation that we would be able to enact. Bill 202, dealing with same sex marriage, would not be subject to the Notwithstanding Clause, for example. That's a legal judgment that came down in 2002. Done right, the Notwithstanding Clause could be a good addition to a bill of rights. However, that is not the case in Canada: it has little merit in protecting Alberta.

Resuming constitutional responsibility for health care is a good thing, but Alberta may not come out ahead on this financially. The Canadian government pays for 19% of Alberta's health care. In order to take responsibility, we would forego that 19%. We may gain enough efficiencies to make up that 19%, but it is not a large benefit to Alberta financially.

Using the Clarity Act for refederation is like using potential independence as a bargaining chip - and it could result in our independence. This would lead to a fluid situation in my opinion, where anything can happen. And because it will be recognized as such, it most likely not be adopted. However, if this part of the Alberta Agenda is adopted, it could save us - because it may have the unintended consequence of Alberta leaving Confederation hoping to renegotiate a new federalism, which is rejected by Canada.

How would legal fights to equalization and transfer payments be successful? And how would these prevent the federal government from making new laws to overcome any successful legal challenge?

The Alberta Agenda will not give us redress from our problems. That said, it is prudent policy.
Reference: BNA Act

Exclusive Powers of Provincial Legislatures

92. In each Province the Legislature may exclusively make Laws in relation to Matters coming within the Classes of Subject next hereinafter enumerated; that is to say,--

1. Repealed.(48)
2. Direct Taxation within the Province in order to the raising of a Revenue for Provincial Purposes.
3. The borrowing of Money on the sole Credit of the Province.
4. The Establishment and Tenure of Provincial Offices and the Appointment and Payment of Provincial Officers.
5. The Management and Sale of the Public Lands belonging to the Province and of the Timber and Wood thereon.
6. The Establishment, Maintenance, and Management of Public and Reformatory Prisons in and for the Province.
7. The Establishment, Maintenance, and Management of Hospitals, Asylums, Charities, and Eleemosynary Institutions in and for the Province, other than Marine Hospitals.
8. Municipal Institutions in the Province.
9. Shop, Saloon, Tavern, Auctioneer, and other Licences in order to the raising of a Revenue for Provincial, Local, or Municipal Purposes.
10. Local Works and Undertakings other than such as are of the following Classes:--
(a) Lines of Steam or other Ships, Railways, Canals, and other Works and Undertakings connecting the Province with any other or others of the Provinces, or extending beyond the Limits of the Province;
(b) Lines of Steam Ships between the Province and any British or Foreign Country;
(c) Such Works as, although wholly situate within the Province, are before or after the Execution declared by the Parliament of Canada to be for the general Advantage of Canada or for the Advantage of Two or more of the Provinces.
11. The Incorporation of Companies with Provincial Objects.
12. The Solemnization of Marriage in the Province.
13. Property and Civil Rights in the Province.
14. The Administration of Justice in the Province, including the Constitution, Maintenance, and Organization of Provincial Courts, both of Civil and of Criminal Jurisdiction, and including Procedure in Civil Matters in those Courts.
15. The Imposition of Punishment by Fine, Penalty, or Imprisonment for enforcing any Law of the Province made in relation to any Matter coming within any of the Classes of Subjects enumerated in this Section.
16. Generally all Matters of a merely local or private Nature in the Province.

Non-Renewable Natural Resources, Forestry Resources and Electrical Energy.

92A. (1) In each province, the legislature may exclusively make laws in relation to
(a) exploration for non-renewable natural resources in the province;
(b) development, conservation and management of non-renewable resources natural resources and forestry resources in the province, including laws in relation to the rate of primary production therefrom; and
(c) development, conservation and management of sites and facilities in the province for the generation and production of electrical energy.
(2) In each province, the legislature may make laws in relation to the export from the province to another part of Canada of the primary production from non-renewable natural resources and forestry resources in the province and the production from facilities in the province for the generation of electrical energy, but such laws may not authorize or provide for discrimination in prices or in supplies exported to another part of Canada.
(3) Nothing in subsection (2) derogates from the authority of Parliament to enact laws in relation to the matters referred to in that subsection and, where such a law of Parliament and a law of a province conflict, the law of Parliament prevails to the extent of the conflict.
(4) In each province, the legislature may make laws in relation to the raising of money by any mode or system of taxation in respect of
(a) non-renewable natural resources and forestry resources in the province and the primary production therefrom, and
(b) sites and facilities in the province for the generation of electrical energy and the production therefrom,
whether or not such production is exported in whole or in part from the province, but such laws may not authorize or provide for taxation that differentiates between production exported to another part of Canada and production not exported from the province.
(5) The expression "primary production" has the meaning assigned by the Sixth Schedule.
(6) Nothing in subsections (1) to (5) derogates from any power or rights that a legislature or government of a province had immediately before the coming into force of this section.(49)

Education.
93. In and for each Province the Legislature may exclusively make Laws in relation to Education, subject and according to the following Provisions:--
(1) Nothing in any such Law shall prejudicially affect any Right or Privilege with respect to Denominational Schools which any Class of Persons have by Law in the Province at the Union:
(2) All the Powers, Privileges and Duties at the Union by Law conferred and imposed in Upper Canada on the Separate Schools and School Trustees of the Queen's Roman Catholic Subjects shall be and the same are hereby extended to the Dissentient Schools of the Queen's Protestant and Roman Catholic Subjects in Quebec:
(3) Where in any Province a System of Separate or Dissentient Schools exists by Law at the Union or is thereafter established by the Legislature of the Province, an Appeal shall lie to the Governor General in Council from any Act or Decision of any Provincial Authority affecting any Right or Privilege of the Protestant or Roman Catholic Minority of the Queen's Subjects in relation to Education:
(4) In case any such Provincial Law as from Time to Time seems to the Governor General in Council requisite for the Execution of the Provisions of this Section is not made, or in case any Decision of the Governor General in Council on any Appeal under this Section is not duly executed by the proper Provincial Authority in that Behalf, then and in every such Case, and as far as the Circumstances of each Case require, the Parliament of Canada may make remedial Laws for the due Execution of the Provisions of this Section and of any Decision of the Governor General in Council under this Section.(50)

93A. Paragraphs (1) to (4) of section 93 do not apply to Quebec. (50.1)
Uniformity of Laws in Ontario, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.
94. Notwithstanding anything in this Act, the Parliament of Canada may make Provision for the Uniformity of all or any of the Laws relative to Property and Civil Rights in Ontario, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick, and of the Procedure of all or any of the Courts in Those Three Provinces, and from and after the passing of any Act in that Behalf the Power of the Parliament of Canada to make Laws in relation to any Matter comprised in any such Act shall, notwithstanding anything in this Act, be unrestricted; but any Act of the Parliament of Canada making Provision for such Uniformity shall not have effect in any Province unless and until it is adopted and enacted as Law by the Legislature thereof.

Old Age Pensions.

94A. The Parliament of Canada may make laws in relation to old age pensions and supplementary benefits, including survivors, and disability benefits irrespective of age, but no such law shall affect the operation of any law present or future of a provincial legislature in relation to any such matters.(51)

Agriculture and Immigration.

95. In each Province the Legislature may make Laws in relation to Agriculture in the Province, and to Immigration into the Province; and it is hereby declared that the Parliament of Canada may from Time to Time Make Laws in relation to Agriculture in all or any of the Provinces, and to Immigration into all or any of the Provinces; and any Law of the Legislature of a Province relative to Agriculture or to Immigration shall have effect in and for the Province as long and as far as it is not repugnant to any Act of the Parliament of Canada.