This British intransigence meant that in 1869 the HBC had to reluctantly sell Rupert’s Land to Canada for a mere $1.5 Million. After this transaction, Prime Minister John A. MacDonald was reported to say that there had been no explanation of the sale given to the people living in the territory, and that they had been handed over to Canada like a flock of sheep. He soon realized the people of the new territory would have no intention of being absorbed easily into the newly formed nation of Canada. The southern portion of what was to become Alberta was home to many cattle ranchers from Texas.
Now, the present Trudeau government has made public its ideologically driven decision to “phase out“ the oil sands to meet carbon emission targets. It has passed a law that prohibits tanker traffic off Canada’s northwest coast, which has the deep ports required by today’s super tankers destined for Southeast Asia. Ottawa has also made oil/gas development regulations so numerous and arduous that companies have stopped trying to get projects approved.
Without adequate representation, early Alberta farmers suffered from Ottawa’s manufacturing tariffs on American farm equipment (35% in 1884), which were meant to encourage Central Canadian manufacturing by discouraging American imports. Because these tariffs essentially stopped American imports, the Alberta farmer had to buy expensive substitutes—with duties— from Central Canada.
Many attempts by Albertans to create a stronger stance in confederation through greater representation in the federal government— notably the 1990’s Reform Party promotion of a Triple E Senate (Elected, Equal and Effective), have all failed.
Even with Alberta’s ownership of resources, the federal government has repeatedly legislated restrictions on our oil development in numerous ways.