MP Arnold Viersen one of the signers
Peace River-Westlock Member of Parliament Arnold Viersen thrust his name back into the news last week, joining three of his Conservative colleagues in demanding action from the federal government, or else.
Their demands are in a document they are calling the ‘Buffalo Declaration.’ In essence, it threatens separation of Alberta from Canada if Ottawa doesn’t smarten up and start taking Alberta’s grievances seriously.
“We are drawing clear line [sic] in the sand. In this declaration, we set before you the inequities our people face and concrete ideas to rectify them,” the document says (as quoted in an article on cbc.ca). “Immediate action must be taken because we are hearing from many people in our province that they will be equal or they will seek independence.”
The document was released on Feb. 20, bearing the names of Alberta MPs Michelle Rempel Garner (Calgary Nose Hill), Blake Richards (Banff-Airdrie), Glen Motz (Medicine Hat-Cardston-Warner) and Viersen.
The declaration from the MPs is related to, but separate from the Kenney government’s ‘Fair Deal Panel’ hearings, which heard plenty of separatist sentiment, among other things, in December and January. Last week in Slave Lake, three UCP MLAs held a public meeting on the fair deal theme. There was no separatist sentiment expressed at the meeting, but plenty of dissatisfaction about equalization payments and pipelines. In attendance at the meeting were representatives of Big Lakes County, the M.D. of Lesser Slave River and the Town of Slave Lake. You can read more about that meeting in the Feb. 26 editions of the Lakeside Leader and South Peace News.