Have you forgotten the “All Politics is Local” rule?

Mark McQueen

According to one of my morning newspapers, Alberta Premier “Danielle Smith’s plan to withdraw from CPP would leave all Canadians – including Albertans – poorer.

To start with, I have no hard data to suggest a flaw in this analysis. Globe & Mail business journalist Andrew Willis is as experienced a hand as you’ll find in the profession today, and he certainly has access to sources that are better than mine.

What I do feel comfortable opining on, though, is the likely visceral, political appeal of Premier Smith’s thought bubble. Canada is a complicated land, as we are reminded of on a daily basis. One must accept that there are thorny topics that continue to cause friction within our Federation: equalization payments, pipeline routes, regional carbon emission caps, labour mobility, proportional representation, and so forth.

For decades, the inter-provincial “fairness” of CPP was never on that list.

Some early commentators rejected Alberta’s math out-of-hand, but I’m not sure they fully appreciate what’s going on. You might think this is just another example of a “Western Grievance,” but Alberta politicians needed to look no further than Quebec — ironically — for inspiration.