Earlier this week, comments made by Quebec premier François Legault provoked fury in Alberta.
After Legault denounced the construction of oil pipelines from Alberta, thousands of people took to social media to criticize both the premier and Quebec society. Some even called for a boycott of all products from la belle province.
While people in Quebec largely laughed off these efforts, anti-Quebec sentiment continues to escalate in Alberta. Now there is even discussion of a revived Alberta separatist movement.
TL;DR According to some reports and (less reliable) Twitter posts, separatism is on the rise in Alberta since Quebec premier François Legault denounced the construction of more pipelines from the oil-rich province.
Any claims about the prevalence of separatist attitudes are entirely anecdotal, but the suggestion has captured the attention of the Alberta public. In an already highly-circulated opinion piece for the Calgary Herald, for example, writer Danielle Smith writes that "separatist sentiment" is "back because Albertans are fed up with Quebec, the grand leech of Confederation."
Don Braid's opinion piece, titled "Talk of Alberta exit is out in the open again," also demonstrates the extent to, and fervor with which separatism has entered the public discourse.
Seemingly disproportionate equalization payments, by which revenue is redistributed to provinces to fund some services, have only further enflamed Albertan fury.
This year, while Quebec benefits from about $13 billion in equalization payments, Alberta will receive nothing.
Some Albertans took to Twitter to voice their support for separatism.
I agree. Alberta's future depends on the economic freedom to responsibly develop our natural resources. Inflammatory rhetoric from @JustinTrudeau and the premiers of Quebec and BC are forcing us to the most logical conclusion. Albertan's don't want to be pushed around anymore. https://t.co/7oIAcRBVjd— Nick (@nick_ras) December 14, 2018
This poll is dubious but telling:
Because of Quebec Premier Francois Legault's remarks about "oil not being socially acceptable in Quebec" despite Quebec receiving more than 50% of annual equalization payments, we're hearing whispers of Alberta separatism. Do you take the whispers seriously?— Charles Adler (@charlesadler) December 11, 2018
This Tweet comes from an account that, apparently, advocates for Alberta's admission as the fifty-first U.S. state:
After separation, Alberta will no longer be injured by $24 billion per year in wealth transfers to Quebec et al. Think of all the uses for that money! https://t.co/wHfGWab2QP— 51 Alberta Vision (@51albertavision) December 8, 2018
DAMNED OUTRAGE 🤬🤬🤬!!!! My wife and I just spoke about what Trudeau and Quebec are doing to us in Alberta and we are READY to head to a referendum to vote for separation! BRING IT ON!!! #albertaseparation— brucelambie (@brucelambie) December 14, 2018
Others found the idea of an independent Alberta hilarious:
Alberta separating is funnier than Quebec separating. pic.twitter.com/ykbIrSQxCp— Tina Brooks (@Pepperfire) December 14, 2018
Until a more official poll is conducted, there's no way to accurately measure separatist support in Alberta.
In the meantime, this discussion will likely be met with enthusiasm, scorn, and humorous dismissal across Canada.