Danielle Smith's Alberta Soverniety Act is an atrocity. Althia Raj asks why are Conservatives across the country keeping their mouths shut?
Alberta Premier Danielle Smith’s new bill gives the province’s legislature the job of the courts, to determine not only whether Ottawa has trampled on provincial jurisdiction but whether a federal policy “causes or is anticipated to cause harm to Albertans.” If the legislature agrees, it passes a resolution giving Smith’s cabinet the ability to respond to the intrusion. Cabinet can make or change laws to respond to the “harm” without going back to the legislature for approval. It can demand provincial entities, such as school boards, health authorities, and municipal and provincial police, ignore federal laws — essentially creating a zone in the country where provincial laws stop federal laws from being enforced. These measures could last up to four years, before going back to the legislature for review.
Reaction was swift. Emmett Macfarlane, an associate political science professor at University of Waterloo, called it, “The most unconstitutional bill in Canada’s modern history.” Lisa Young, a University of Calgary professor, tweeted about lighting her hair on fire, after it was realized the bill was worse than expected. Over at the Hub, however, Geoffrey Sigalet, a UBC Okanagan political scientist, and lawyer Jesse Hartery argued the bill should be constitutional as the province has no obligation to enforce federal laws.
How have Conservatives reacted?
Back in September, Smith’s proposed sovereignty act was so alarming that Rajan Sawhney, Travis Toews, and Brian Jean joined together to denounce it as a dangerous fairy tale.
“The act is a false bill of goods,” said Toews.
Danielle is deceiving UCP members about reality,” said Jean, who deemed it a vote “tricking” effort.
But if you thought these three would now raise the alarm that Smith is trying to trick not just UCP members but all Alberta voters, you’d be disappointed.
Now you hear nothing from Conservatives:
Our political system is increasingly challenged by elected officials who aren’t truthful, challenge facts, erode trust and put their personal ambitions ahead of the public good.
It's summed up in one word -- cowardice.