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Old Posted Nov 11, 2019, 5:44 AM
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Does Western Alienation exist, and how can we fix it?

It is a simple question, but not easily answered.

If for a moment we move past pipelines, and just talk about the Federal government presence in Western Canada, do we see the same as place like Ontario and Quebec, and even the Maritimes?

To answer this we need to look at some interesting examples.

Transportation

Highways:
We learned in 2016 that a failure of a single bridge cuts off everyone west of Thunder Bay from the east. This alone shows that ensuring the goods from all provinces have a safe way across our land is not a priority. Just imagine if that bridge collapsed and was unsafe to cross for a year.

By 2025 you can drive on a divided highway from Ottawa to Toronto, Quebec City, Fredericton and Halifax. The missing link; the A-85 is a small part that needs to be done.
You can drive Between Edmonton, Regina and Winnipeg on divided highways. Victoria? Nope. Even Victoria to Vancouver, ignoring the ferry crossing in some parts are still 2 lane highways. Vancouver east? Much of that is also 2 lanes.

Air travel:
Can you fly from all capitals to our Nation's Capital on a direct flight? No.
Victoria is not served. Regina and the Territory capitals are seasonal, along with St John's Of course, there are connecting flights, but when it comes to nation building, going from a capital to another capital is important.

Fun fact, you can get to all provincial capitals from Toronto.... But not to the territories.

Train

Via Rail is a Federal government agency. Our tax dollars do go to it.

So, lets have some fun... Today, could you hop a train from the capital of your province to Ottawa? Well, if you live in Ontario or Quebec, absolutely. NS and NB, weellll, not Fredericton. There are not even tracks there. Halifax is good, but not every day.
Going west Winnipeg and Edmonton are the only western provinces that have anything, but it is 2-3 times a week. The one in Victoria is shut down. Regina doesn't have any passenger service, even though, they do have a major railway going through that.

Government offices
Correct me if I am wrong, but most of the government offices for things, like Taxation and VAC and others are located somewhere in Ontario and Quebec.

Military

Halifax's navy has more ships than Victoria.
There are more Army Bases in Eastern Canada than Western Canada.
The Administration for the Air Force is in Ontario.

I am from Ontario, lived in Nova Scotia and British Columbia, and am back in Ontario. Till I left, I never understood what they meant. Now that I am back, I understand it.

Building a pipeline really won't change things.

We need to start building our nation before it splinters beyond repair.
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  #2  
Old Posted Nov 11, 2019, 6:34 AM
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Growing up in the west you don't think of it but now as a voter you realize the elections are decided in Quebec and Ontario so there is a sense that it doesn't matter how you vote cause it seems pointless by the time they start counting on the west coast its pretty much a given what the results are.

BC is too rugged for freeways so it's not an issue for me or most BC'ers that I know. Alberta being flatter has a much better connected network of highways than BC does.
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  #3  
Old Posted Nov 11, 2019, 7:19 AM
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It's a thing sentiment-wise but aiming for parity in a bunch of arbitrary areas seems counterproductive. For example VIA is semi-useful around Southern Ontario and Quebec but is inherently much harder to develop to a useful level in Western Canada. The disparity in naval deployments isn't because of anti-Western bias, it's because Halifax is in a more strategic location than Victoria is.

At a very abstract level I think we are too timid with nation building projects. We should have a better transportation network, and maybe pipelines and a national grid too. But we shouldn't get caught up thinking that the only fair country is one where every region is treated the same when they all have different needs and realities.
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Old Posted Nov 11, 2019, 7:38 AM
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Please change the thread title to “Does Prairie Alienation exist... “.

The real West isn’t full of self-pitying whiners.
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  #5  
Old Posted Nov 11, 2019, 7:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by someone123 View Post
It's a thing sentiment-wise but aiming for parity in a bunch of arbitrary areas seems counterproductive. For example VIA is semi-useful around Southern Ontario and Quebec but is inherently much harder to develop to a useful level in Western Canada. The disparity in naval deployments isn't because of anti-Western bias, it's because Halifax is in a more strategic location than Victoria is.

At a very abstract level I think we are too timid with nation building projects. We should have a better transportation network, and maybe pipelines and a national grid too. But we shouldn't get caught up thinking that the only fair country is one where every region is treated the same when they all have different needs and realities.
There are some legitimate gripes but many of them are just fish complaining about not having bicycles.
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  #6  
Old Posted Nov 11, 2019, 7:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Acajack View Post
There are some legitimate gripes but many of them are just fish complaining about not having bicycles.
You can have a high-trust country where people believe that the federal government is virtuous and focused on the greater good or you can have a low-trust environment where people focus on pork barrel politics. I think the "unfairness" alienation type arguments are often based on this more cynical pork barrel perspective. I am skeptical that it's possible to solve these grievances by doling out pork in a certain way. "Bikes for fish" programs are pork.

The SNC Lavalin affair is a good example of an event that undermined trust in Canada a little. The Liberal party is cozy with certain companies largely based in Central Canada and JT was looking out for his buddies and their patronage positions. I suspect this style of politics is a bigger contributor to alienation than VIA, etc.

On the other end you sometimes hear of politicians who want to end the cycle of corruption. Justin Trudeau claimed to do this with senate appointments and the Conservatives claimed to have done it with naval procurement.
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  #7  
Old Posted Nov 11, 2019, 7:57 AM
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Well of course it exists, but only education, understanding, and proportional representation will fix it.



Quote:
Originally Posted by someone123 View Post
It's a thing sentiment-wise but aiming for parity in a bunch of arbitrary areas seems counterproductive. For example VIA is semi-useful around Southern Ontario and Quebec but is inherently much harder to develop to a useful level in Western Canada. The disparity in naval deployments isn't because of anti-Western bias, it's because Halifax is in a more strategic location than Victoria is.
If Via can be heavily subsidized throughout the entire east, it can most certainly be subsidized between Calgary and Edmonton, and between Calgary and the mountain towns, yet it isn't. The terrain along both routes is virtually identical to that in all of Southern Ontario, along with considerable population density (about 83/km2 in the 400 km between High River and Fort Sask, with said area being about 100 km wide the whole route) and still increasing relatively rapidly. Not having a train to one of the biggest tourist attractions in the nation is really stupid.
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Last edited by Chadillaccc; Nov 11, 2019 at 8:20 AM.
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  #8  
Old Posted Nov 11, 2019, 8:13 AM
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Vancouver has VIA.
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  #9  
Old Posted Nov 11, 2019, 8:37 AM
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Originally Posted by whatnext View Post
Please change the thread title to “Does Prairie Alienation exist... “.

The real West isn’t full of self-pitying whiners.
The title really should be "Does Alberta and Saskatchewan Alienation exist" because Manitoba wants no part of Waaahhhhhhxit
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  #10  
Old Posted Nov 11, 2019, 9:01 AM
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This "Wexit" bullshit only just started. Western Alienation has been a thing in the political and economic context for decades, in all provinces of the west. Just because Winnipeg voted in a few liberals doesn't make Manitoba somehow superior, nor does the Lower Mainland only voting in 7 conservatives out of their 21 districts. Every province in the west saw the conservatives win the popular vote. Alberta may have a bunch of whiney cunts, but stop being a bitch about something that we all know has been a phenomenon for most of the country's history.
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  #11  
Old Posted Nov 11, 2019, 1:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chadillaccc View Post
This "Wexit" bullshit only just started. Western Alienation has been a thing in the political and economic context for decades, in all provinces of the west. Just because Winnipeg voted in a few liberals doesn't make Manitoba somehow superior, nor does the Lower Mainland only voting in 7 conservatives out of their 21 districts. Every province in the west saw the conservatives win the popular vote. Alberta may have a bunch of whiney cunts, but stop being a bitch about something that we all know has been a phenomenon for most of the country's history.
The issues with eastern Canada rise and fall like the tide. The power brokers of the lower Great Lakes and St Lawrence River region have always viewed the west as an area to exploit. Since the start of the fur trade to Riel to "the God Damn CPR, western Canada has always felt like a second class citizen to the interests of Bay and St Catherines streets.

This latest blow up will eventually recede but if you follow twitter the rage seems to be real and gets added fuel by the unhelpful comments coming from eastern columnists.
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  #12  
Old Posted Nov 11, 2019, 2:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swimmer_spe View Post
It is a simple question, but not easily answered.

If for a moment we move past pipelines, and just talk about the Federal government presence in Western Canada, do we see the same as place like Ontario and Quebec, and even the Maritimes?

To answer this we need to look at some interesting examples.

Transportation

Highways:
We learned in 2016 that a failure of a single bridge cuts off everyone west of Thunder Bay from the east. This alone shows that ensuring the goods from all provinces have a safe way across our land is not a priority. Just imagine if that bridge collapsed and was unsafe to cross for a year.

By 2025 you can drive on a divided highway from Ottawa to Toronto, Quebec City, Fredericton and Halifax. The missing link; the A-85 is a small part that needs to be done.
You can drive Between Edmonton, Regina and Winnipeg on divided highways. Victoria? Nope. Even Victoria to Vancouver, ignoring the ferry crossing in some parts are still 2 lane highways. Vancouver east? Much of that is also 2 lanes.

Air travel:
Can you fly from all capitals to our Nation's Capital on a direct flight? No.
Victoria is not served. Regina and the Territory capitals are seasonal, along with St John's Of course, there are connecting flights, but when it comes to nation building, going from a capital to another capital is important.

Fun fact, you can get to all provincial capitals from Toronto.... But not to the territories.

Train

Via Rail is a Federal government agency. Our tax dollars do go to it.

So, lets have some fun... Today, could you hop a train from the capital of your province to Ottawa? Well, if you live in Ontario or Quebec, absolutely. NS and NB, weellll, not Fredericton. There are not even tracks there. Halifax is good, but not every day.
Going west Winnipeg and Edmonton are the only western provinces that have anything, but it is 2-3 times a week. The one in Victoria is shut down. Regina doesn't have any passenger service, even though, they do have a major railway going through that.

Government offices
Correct me if I am wrong, but most of the government offices for things, like Taxation and VAC and others are located somewhere in Ontario and Quebec.

Military

Halifax's navy has more ships than Victoria.
There are more Army Bases in Eastern Canada than Western Canada.
The Administration for the Air Force is in Ontario.

I am from Ontario, lived in Nova Scotia and British Columbia, and am back in Ontario. Till I left, I never understood what they meant. Now that I am back, I understand it.

Building a pipeline really won't change things.

We need to start building our nation before it splinters beyond repair.
To quote my long standing SSP bro ... money talks bullshit walks.

A fair and balanced distribution of national wealth is all that is needed. This is related to party politics focus of maintaining power than doing what's best for the nation.

Bilingualism sets the stage of government employment. It shouldn't be a prerequisite for government employment as it favour parts of the nation over others which forms government choices and decisions.

Canadians have to stop being ignorant assholes. The oil sands/ resource extraction runs our nation (aside from the banana republic real estate market) and, recycling isn't green. Reduce and reuse is.
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  #13  
Old Posted Nov 11, 2019, 2:28 PM
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I say we just ignore it
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  #14  
Old Posted Nov 11, 2019, 2:32 PM
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Ontario could ignore it, although some feeble to middling attempts at "goodwill" seem more likely, because, well, Ontario. The question for Ontario could become one of whether it's worth trying to fix anything or to accept being on its own (in whatever new arrangements would follow). I don't find that prospect to be particularly scary.
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Old Posted Nov 11, 2019, 2:32 PM
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Originally Posted by swimmer_spe View Post
Government offices
Correct me if I am wrong, but most of the government offices for things, like Taxation and VAC and others are located somewhere in Ontario and Quebec.
The head office for Veteran Affairs Canada is in Charlottetown PEI, and has been for at least 30 years.

It is a major employer in the city, but unfortunately is a self extinguishing government department. VAC will be little more than a shell in 10 years time.

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Old Posted Nov 11, 2019, 2:38 PM
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I say we just ignore it
The most Ontarioan post ever!
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Old Posted Nov 11, 2019, 2:48 PM
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Alienation is part of the Canadian mantra, and has existed for as long as the country existed.

1) - Joe Howe wanted to take Nova Scotia out of Confederation from day one.
2) - John A. MacDonald's National Policy in the 1870s destroyed the Maritimes economy and led to eastern alienation.
3) - Newfoundland's support for confederation in 1949 was so lukewarm, they had to have a referendum question with three possible choices in order to ensure that the confederation option would win.
4) - Vive le Quebec libre!!!
5) - Northern Ontario definitely feels ignored by the south
6) - Red River Rebellion
7) - Batoche.
8) - National Energy Policy. Let the eastern bastards freeze in the dark!!!
9) - Current pipeline debate
10) - Ongoing aboriginal tensions, MMIWG, cultural genocide.

Basically, unless you are a certified member of the Laurentian Elite living in the Montreal/Ottawa axis or in the City of Toronto, you feel alienated by this country. JT is a certified member of the Laurentian Elite. Canada was created for him and in his own image. He just doesn't get it. As far as he is concerned, Canada is perfect. Nobody in the country has any reason to complain.

Right???

JT is temperamentally so ill suited to deal with the alienation problems in Canada he should probably resign right now...........
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Old Posted Nov 11, 2019, 2:59 PM
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Bilingualism sets the stage of government employment. It shouldn't be a prerequisite for government employment as it favour parts of the nation over others which forms government choices and decisions.

.
This is not solely directed at you but I will respond because it's definitely a common view.

For starters bilingualism is not usually a prerequisite and free on-the-job paid training is provided to non-bilingual candidates the feds want to hire.

In any event, if the bilingualism rules are to be dumbed down then it would require a significant re-tooling of how the federal public service works.

Either certain services and administrative work would be downloaded to Quebec when the stuff needs to happen in French, or these services remain in the federal public service fold but English only and French only work units are created. As was suggested by the Laurendeau-Dunton Commission in the 1960s but was ruled out by the Liberals of the day who preferred to current system we have.

In any event personally I don't think we will be going back to the old days when francophones who worked in the public service had to park their language at door - at least not any more than they already have to today even with official bilingualism in the workplace. Though YMMV with that.

Also it's interesting that we're living in an era of great openness to accommodation (and I'd argue even an extreme openness to it in the ROC) but this is one specific area that is arguably accommodation as well but where there is persistent talk of scaling things back.
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Old Posted Nov 11, 2019, 3:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Acajack View Post
This is not solely directed at you but I will respond because it's definitely a common view.

For starters bilingualism is not usually a prerequisite and free on-the-job paid training is provided to non-bilingual candidates the feds want to hire.

In any event, if the bilingualism rules are to be dumbed down then it would require a significant re-tooling of how the federal public service works.

Either certain services and administrative work would be downloaded to Quebec when the stuff needs to happen in French, or these services remain in the federal public service fold but English only and French only work units are created. As was suggested by the Laurendeau-Dunton Commission in the 1960s but was ruled out by the Liberals of the day who preferred to current system we have.

In any event personally I don't think we will be going back to the old days when francophones who worked in the public service had to park their language at door - at least not any more than they already have to today even with official bilingualism in the workplace. Though YMMV with that.

Also it's interesting that we're living in an era of great openness to accommodation (and I'd argue even an extreme openness to it in the ROC) but this is one specific area that is arguably accommodation as well but where there is persistent talk of scaling things back.
As you said, the current system often does mean that francophones in Ottawa have to "park their language at the door". All it takes is one person who can't speak French well/comfortably (regardless of whether or not they are "bilingual" on paper) to basically make the whole room speak English.

Not implementing the Laurendeau-Dunton idea was a big mistake. It would have ultimately worked better for both linguistic communities. You could have an abundance of actual French-language working environments while at the same time putting to bed the constant grievance of anglophones who feel bilingual job requirements are unfair.
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Old Posted Nov 11, 2019, 3:24 PM
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Not implementing the Laurendeau-Dunton idea was a big mistake. It would have ultimately worked better for both linguistic communities. You could have an abundance of actual French-language working environments while at the same time putting to bed the constant grievance of anglophones who feel bilingual job requirements are unfair.
It's never too late for a change.

There will always be a need for bilingual employees in the federal civil service for it to remain functional, but I think it would be beneficial for both linguistic communities to have "safe spaces" where they can feel comfortable.

A quadrilingual country like Switzerland can offer us a lesson in terms of remaining unified, but in a manner in which each linguistic group can feel secure and safe. We should emulate the Swiss example.
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