- Some Albertans are targeting Quebec after Bloc Québécois leader Yves-François Blanchet accused "Wexiters" of pushing an "oil state."
- The root of the problem? Equalization payments for Canadian provinces.
- Read the negative reactions to Blanchet's words below.
On November 13, Yves-François Blanchet spent the morning in a meeting with Canada's PM Justin Trudeau. The meeting was meant for the two political leaders to discuss their "shared priorities." The two have both been very vocal about their desire to fight climate change. Blanchet has not been shy about his disdain for the oil industry, which he feels is doing the exact opposite of fighting climate change.
Since the Bloc Québécois only holds 32 seats in Parliament, Blanchet does not have enough say to make decisions on his own when it comes to the rest of the country, but that hasn't stopped him from commenting on what's going on in other provinces.
According to Global News, Blanchet has said the rise of the "Wexit" movement is not a national identity issue and feels he does not need to lend a hand in teaching another Canadian province about separatism. Since Blanchet believes they're trying to create an "oil state," he says "they should not expect any help from us."
Jason Kenney, Alberta's premier, responded to Blanchet by saying, "if you are so opposed to the energy we produced in Alberta, then why are you so keen on taking the money generated by the oilfield workers?" This led to online reactions from many people in the West, who are now saying Quebec can go ahead and separate, and think equalization payments per province are far from fair on the West's side.
To say the least, people in the West are no fans of Blanchet.
The oil industry is more or less Alberta's livelihood, as it funds the majority of its economy and creates employment for its citizens. Currently, a large part of the oil that Quebec receives comes from Western Canada, though Blanchet hopes Quebec continues to consume "less and less."
Blanchet does not want Quebec to be used as territory for oil transportation and thinks Alberta should be working harder to use renewable resources, rather than increasing its oil output.
The negative commentary hasn't only been directed towards Blanchet, though, Trudeau is getting it too. Some are discussing their concern that Trudeau is only working in favour of Quebec, not the rest of the country.
The West is saying they get nothing from Quebec anyway, so they don't need their help. Many have expressed their support for Quebec secession.
This tweet below seems to encompass the feelings that many people in the West are feeling for both Quebec and Trudeau at the moment.
And unfortunately, Blanchet's "parasite" words seem to be giving our entire province a bad rep.
Quebec is being referred to as the "pampered child" of Canada.
If you were ever concerned about living in a divided Canada, keep worrying — it doesn't seem to be getting any better.
If you're a bit confused about exactly where the current issues between Quebec and Alberta come from, it all has to do with equalization. The main sentiment that is seeping through the online reactions is that people think it's time for Quebec to choose whether they want equalized funding or want to be independent. Alberta's Premier says Quebec cannot have its cake and eat it too.
In direct response to Blanchet saying he has no interest in helping Alberta, people from the West are saying they didn't want Quebec's help in the first place.
The equalization payments that, undoubtedly, benefit Quebec's population, get described as "unappreciated charity." A charity that we may not be receiving any more if things continue the way they're going.
Although equalization payments are meant to keep each Canadian province's services balanced, it seems Alberta does not feel as though it's getting a fair deal — so for this reason, many want the equalization laws to be abolished completely.
Could this actually happen? That's still to be determined. Stay tuned, Canada!