Texans Home away from home, Canada's Red State
There has been a lot of talk since the election of Americans packing up and heading north. North to the great bastion of liberalism. The coolest country in the world according to The Economist.
One word of caution to my American friends, Alberta.
Alberta is province where the provincial government has been ruled by a conservative government for all of its history and thanks to being located over top of the one of the world's greatest oil basins, Canada's richest province.
Guns are sacred here, men are men and the sheep are scared, oil wields the power in the state of Alberta. When George Bush was looking for support for the invasion of Iraq, Alberta's King (Premier) Ralph Klein was on board, calling on Canada to join up with the coalition of the winning.
In Canada's three biggest provinces very little controversy is stirred with the the recent Supreme Court opinion that stated gay marriage was legal. A firestorm erupted in Alberta, famous for its chinocks (warm winds that sweep across from the foothills giving Calgary unseasonably warm weather), heated up. There is so much opposition one wonders if the anti-christ had appeared. Many in Alberta believe he has.
The Alberta government has threatened to use a tool in Canada's Charter of Rights called the "not withstanding clause" three times. The first time the government tried to invoke it to prevent mentally handicapped people from seeking compensation for being forcibly sterilized during the 1940's through the 1970's.
The outcry across Canada and amazingly enough, within Alberta, was enough for the government to back down. The second threat to use the clause came in the early 1990's when the courts ordered the province to include sexual orientation to the Human rights code. The threat came but was not used.
Today the cry is to use the clause to prevent same-sex marriage. Federal Conservative MP's in Alberta want the federal government to use the clause to prevent gay marriage. Prime Minister Martin has said he would never use the clause to prevent people from asserting their human rights.
Marriage the Supreme Court of Canada stated was the juridiction of the federal government. Any attempt by the province to prevent gay marriage would be defeated.
King (Premier) Klein facing an upset citizenry has called for a national referendum on the issue. This has been flatly turned down by Ottawa. Now the campaign has turned to expressing their views to Memebers of Parliament(M.P.'s). The Premier is asking people to write to the Prime Minister and M.P.'s.
The state of "De Klein" will lose this battle and either further push Alberta farther away from other Canadians or perhaps show them they had nothing to worry about.
So my American friends, if you do choose Canada, many of us will welcome you, just know not all Canadians are liberal!