Posted on Jun 18, 2020


EDMONTON - Drew Barnes, UCP MLA for Cypress-Medicine Hat and Fair Deal Panel member, wrote to Premier Jason Kenney this week expressing his dissatisfaction with the panel’s report and calling repeatedly for Alberta to consider separating from Canada.


In his June 16th letter, Barnes says the Fair Deal panel’s report, released yesterday, “cannot and will not adequately address Alberta’s place in confederation.”


“It is clear that the majority of Albertans want to challenge Ottawa and our provincial partners in areas of resource development and access, constitutional inequities like the Senate and Supreme Court (under)representation, equalization, taxation, spending inequities, and property rights,” Barnes wrote. “It is also abundantly clear that if constitutional equality cannot be achieved within confederation, that many Albertans will seek their independence.”


Barnes writes in detail about 10 areas where he wants Kenney to go further than the Fair Deal Panel’s report, and in some cases makes extraordinary constitutional demands. He describes Albertans as “a second-class people under the constitution,” raises the question of Alberta separation four times, and sets a nine-month deadline for his demands.


“A free people must be willing to at some point of injustice without rectification, to draw a line and make a stand,” Barnes writes.


If Jason Kenney and Canada are not willing to meet his conditions, “the majority of my constituents in Cypress-Medicine Hat and from across our land have made clear that we must seek another relationship, as a sovereign people.”


“Jason Kenney has been recklessly fanning the flames of separatism to distract Albertans from his failed economic record,” said Sarah Hoffman, NDP Official Opposition Deputy Leader. “He selected Drew Barnes to help lead this panel. Did he know Barnes was a separatist when he appointed him? 


“As the Premier of Alberta, Jason Kenney must denounce and disavow Barnes’ calls for separation,” said Hoffman. “While Albertans are struggling with massive job losses, business failures and a global pandemic, there cannot be a separatist caucus within the government. Drew Barnes is obviously claiming the leadership of that faction. Jason Kenney must act.”