LILLEY: Scott Moe and Saskatchewan deserve respect and understanding, not ridicule
There is an old cartoon called The Milch Cow that sums up how Western Canadians feel about their treatment by the power brokers in the East.
It shows a cow being fed by farmers in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba while it’s being milked by businessmen in top hats into buckets labelled Ottawa, Toronto and Montreal.
The cartoon was first published in December 1915 but the sentiment lives on today.
Take the reaction to Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe saying he wants more autonomy for his province and for it to be treated like a nation within a nation. Moe made the comment, an extension and expansion of ideas he’s advocated before, while appearing on the Roy Green Show last Sunday.
He was discussing the moves by the Trudeau government at the COP26 summit in Glasgow to unilaterally announce hard caps on greenhouse gas emissions without consultation, but his frustration with Ottawa is wider than just that issue. And his frustration is not new for those who have been paying attention.
“In light of the federal government’s continued attacks on our economy, in particular our energy sector, our government needs to assert and protect Saskatchewan’s economic sovereignty,” Moe told me via email Thursday.
“This would not be necessary if we could count on our federal government to advance Saskatchewan’s economic interests. But we can’t.”
Moe wants more powers for his province over immigration, policing, taxation, responsible firearms policy and international relations. All powers Quebec currently exercises, in fact, Ontario also exercises many of them.