Alberta will open offices in other provinces, introduce an act to give Albertans the power to petition for referendums and create a panel to look at giving the province further independence, like pulling out of the Federal-Provincial Tax Collection Agreement or establishing a provincial police force.
Premier Jason Kenney made the sweeping announcement Saturday during a keynote address to close the Manning Conference in Red Deer, an event held by the Manning Centre, a Calgary-based right-wing think-tank.
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Reform Party founder Preston Manning will sit on the panel, along with Stephen Lougheed, son of late former premier Peter Lougheed, former MLA Donna Kennedy-Glans and three current MLAs, among others.
“Albertans aren’t asking for a special deal. We’re just asking for a fair deal. And our government will do everything within our power to get it,” Kenney said in an emailed release.
Some measures the new Fair Deal Panel will study include:
- Establishing a provincial revenue agency by ending Alberta’s Federal-Provincial Tax Collection Agreement.
- Withdrawing from the Canada Pension Plan and establishing a provincial plan.
- Ending the province’s relationship with the RCMP and creating a provincial police force.
- Opting out of federal cost-sharing programs.
- Establishing a formal provincial constitution.
- Appointing a Chief Firearms Office for the province.
The panel will consult with experts and hold town halls, before completing a report to government by March 31, the release said.
The province will be opening offices in Ottawa, Quebec and B.C. to “defend the province’s interests.”