What Daniel Smith’s Support for Alberta Sovereignty Act Really Means


Commentary

Alberta’s United Conservative Party is in a leadership race to replace outgoing Prime Minister Jason Kenny. His two former leaders of the Wild Rose Party, Brian Jean and Daniel Smith, are battling for the lead in the polls. While it is clear that both candidates’ GOTV (Get Out the Vote) strategies will determine his Oct. 6 winner, other intangibles, such as policy ideas, may steer the political needle in either direction. helps to move to

Smith, whom I’ve known for years, recently voiced his support in my Troy Media syndicated column, and he does a lot better than Jean on public policy issues. Her work experience at the Fraser Institute and the Canadian Federation of Independent Business helped strengthen her support for private enterprise, trade liberalization and the free market economy. She is an intelligent and thought-provoking candidate who has always been fascinated by generating ideas, from making good use of Alberta’s oil industry to helping Prime Minister Justin Trudeau scrap the federal carbon tax. is a person.

The most high-profile issue is her support for Alberta’s sovereignty laws.

To be fair, Smith didn’t come up with that policy. It was originally conceived by the Free His Alberta Strategy, a joint initiative between the Alberta Institute and former MLA Rob Anderson. Town hall, political and community meetings were held to formulate ideas for the Alberta government to consider and implement. The policy proposal was jointly prepared by Anderson, University of Calgary Professor Barry Cooper, and attorney Derek Fromm on September 28, 2021.

With respect to the Alberta Sovereignty Act described as “foundation”, it “denies the Alberta legislature to enforce certain legislative acts or federal court decisions that Alberta’s elected agencies have deemed federal intrusions. to unreasonably prejudice any state jurisdiction or interests of the province of Alberta.”

The Alberta Legislature will be given a vote to “overturn federal attempts to regulate or deny new energy projects” in the province. The Alberta government will have unilateral powers to deny enforcement of federal laws on “restrictions on firearm possession, carbon taxes, or the provision of health care.”

Smith’s interpretation differs somewhat from that of Free Alberta. On July 20, she said the law would “allow the Alberta Legislature to refuse to enforce certain federal laws or policies that violate Alberta’s rights under Article 92 of the Constitution or the Alberta Charter of Rights and Freedoms.” But it will only be activated after a “free vote” of all Alberta MLAs.

Some political commentators have expressed hesitation about the act. Howard Anglin wrote in his July 13th edition of The Hub that this was a “fraud” and “impracticable.” The former Deputy Chief of Staff to then-Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper described it as “the political equivalent of a sideshow tent painted in ludicrous images of wonders never before seen by the human eye.” did. His frustration seems to have more to do with his free Alberta. Because he noted that the act “straight out of the Clank and Cook camp”. Anglin “liked” Smith, describing her as “smart, curious, and refreshingly open-minded about politics and policy,” but her endorsement of the act meant ” I’m frustrated that this means ‘I have to take this very unserious idea seriously.

Was the criticism of this policy proposal justified? I don’t think so.

The political pendulum has swung between federal and state many times in our history. means

Smith’s interpretation of this act is wise and practical. There is real merit in strengthening states’ rights to counter ineffective and ineffective federal policies. Promoting a stronger, freer Alberta with more control over its political destiny has popular and mainstream appeal. Maintaining free voting in the Alberta Legislature is an important tool of democratic reform in modern politics, and it does not mean that all parts of federal law will be challenged and defeated.

I disagree with Anglin and others that this act is against the current constitutional framework. Nevertheless, there are ways it could be a more specific proposition. Especially when other prime ministers of Canada, both right-leaning and left-leaning, finally agree with Smith’s basic conception of the importance of increasing provincial rights and propose acts of their own sovereignty. This does not prevent Ottawa from formulating policy and passing laws, but it should work in partnership with the state government rather than arbitrarily proposing legislation and arrogantly formulating policy. This means that it is necessary to keep in mind

Taken together, Smith’s support for Alberta’s sovereignty laws could benefit not only her state, but the nation as a whole. Time will tell.

Views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The Epoch Times.

Michael Tove

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Longtime newspaper columnist and political commentator Michael Taube was a speechwriter for former Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

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