In an astonishing statement to the New York Times in 2015, Justin Trudeau declared, “There is no core identity, no mainstream in Canada,” and consequently that “makes us the first post-national state.”
This kind of talk would have been horrifying to Peter Lougheed, Alberta’s premier from 1971 to 1985. He believed in Canada. He had faith in our national institutions. But the intransigence of the federal government led by Pierre Elliot Trudeau tested that faith.
And now we have Justin Trudeau, a prime minister who, like his father, has odd ideas about the country, the world, and Alberta’s place in it.
Dark resentments thought buried in this part of the country have been reawakened.
The ideas behind Canadian confederation are at risk.
Albertans are perplexed, and now many are angry. Why is our prime minister, we say, so obsessively focused on his role as heroic defender of a post-nation world and in doing so, neglects the needs of his own country?
Other national leaders (France’s Emmanuel Macron, for one), have learned what happens when you ignore the wishes of your citizens. Riots reminiscent of the events of 1968 in France, triggered the country’s prime minister, and soon after the president, to back away from a loathed carbon tax.