Talk:Western alienation in Canada

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This article needs to be deleted unless someone can articulate a logical defense of this mess. Did you see how many (citation needed) tags are here? Its basically a big jumple of assertions with no facts to back it up. Remove it immediately. (talk) 20:56, 18 October 2011 (UTC)

Hello, just wrote this article today, first full one i've done on wikipedia, its loaded with errors. I will definately be working on it over the proceding weeks, but any help people can give me on it would be greatly appreciated. Ive also requested a peer review, but I do not yet know how to direct it to the right section (Canadian politics). I am fairly knowledgable in Canadian politics, but a read-over by someone who knows more would be excellent to make sure everything is correct. Its referenced for the most part, just not correctly. Thanks a lot. --Gregorof 18:16, 30 July 2006 (UTC)

Gregorof, thanks for your contribution. I have taken a run at it and tried to clean it up. I think tht the article is basically quite good. At times, though, it sounded like you were trying to make an argument for Western alienation, rather than write a neutral article about it. I have tried to make it sound more neutral, and have deleted a few points that were being repeated. The repetition of the same point over and over can make an article sound like a diatribe, rather than an encyclopedia article. Keep up the good work! Ground Zero | t 18:52, 30 July 2006 (UTC)

Thanks! Thought about that myself reading over after writing . . will keep it in mind for future edits.--Gregorof 19:01, 30 July 2006 (UTC)


"Economic factors

Economic factors, including equalization payments, have caused great discontent especially in Alberta. Equalization payments cost Alberta approximately $1.1 billion annually [7], less than that provided by, but significantly higher on a per capita basis, than Ontario. These payments are made by the federal government to the eight 'have-not' provinces. There are no federal restrictions over how this money is to be spent at the provincial level. Quebec receives $5.5 billion annually, making it the single largest recipient of these payments.[8]

British Columbia, as noted, has been a 'have-not' province for just over five years and will likely return to being a 'have' province in the near future. While being a 'have-not' province, it received the lowest payments besides Saskatchewan, recieving $107 per capita in 2006, approximately 1/7th of that of Quebec.[9]"

what does quebec have to do with any of this? [Unsigned comment by anonymous editor]

  • Well, Quebec does have something to do with this because it is the largest beneficiary of the equalization system. Nonetheless, the passage you site is argumentative and possibly POV. This could be avoided by replacing most of the text with a table that shows for the most recent year the equalization payments made and received by province, and the per capita equalization payments by province. The reader then would be free to make his or her own interpretations, rather than having the article draw conclusions. For example, the passage cited notes that Quebec is the largest recipient, but it is not the largest recipient per capita. Ground Zero | t 17:02, 11 August 2006 (UTC)
    • .... which I have now done, and deleted the reference in the text to Quebec which is not a western province. Ground Zero | t 17:25, 11 August 2006 (UTC)

Klein's threat to withdraw from equalization program[edit]

This threat was very usual, especially form somone who had been premier of a province for many years. Alberta or any other province is unable to "withdraw" from the program since it is not funded by collecting money from the governments of the "have" provinces. It is funded from the federal government's general revenues, i.e., the taxes we pay. The federal government will continue to levy taxes, and provide funding to "have not" provinces regardless of what Klein wants. Equalization is effectively a transfer from "haves" to "have nots" because federal taxes are raised in all provinces and then this program redistributes a portion of the taxes only to the "have nots".

See Dept of Finance website:

"A significant amount of its own funding is transferred by the federal government to the provinces and territories to support important social investments, such as health care and education. These are called transfers. Finance Canada administers these transfers. The key transfer programs are:
"the Canada Health Transfer (CHT) and Canada Social Transfer CST), which go to all provinces and territories and are used to fund health care, post-secondary education and social assistance and social services;
"Equalization, which ensures that less prosperous provinces can provide reasonably comparable public services without their taxes being out of line with those of more affluent provinces; and
"Territorial Formula Financing (TFF) which provides territorial governments with funding to support public services, in recognition of the higher cost of living in the north."

Ground Zero | t 01:40, 11 September 2006 (UTC)

I will listen to anybody s opinion about western alienation, but i am also honest, and I find it amusing that equalization has found its way into this article. mainly being that Geographically thinking, Alberta's equalization payments do not go beyond Manitoba. You see Alberta pays 1.1 billion, while B.C, Sask, and Manitoba receive 2.1 billion So unless you want to boot Manitoba out of the equation, it is irrelevant to this article, perhaps it should be saved for the Alberta Separation Article

This statement is incorrect:

"Furthermore, Ontario is seen as potentially becoming a "have-not" within a few years, potentially creating a situation where the three westernmost provinces are the only ones paying into equalization.[1]"

First, all taxpayers that pay federal taxes contribute to equalization. Second, you can pay into equalization and still receive money from it. Third, for the situation above to happen, Ontario would have to receive more from equalization than it pays into it. That would be anywhere from $14 billion to $21 billion annually. Based on this, the above statement should be removed. (talk) 16:00, 6 November 2008 (UTC)

Political Factors[edit]

"The Maritime provinces are constitutionally guaranteed a fixed number of federal ridings (most notably four in Prince Edward Island); this is not the case in Western provinces."

This is wrong. Every province is guaranteed a minimum number of federal ridings. A province can not have less MPs than the number of Senators they had in 1982 Constitution Act, 1982 - 41(b).

I'll remove the reference to this "fixed riding" guarantee --Sylguy69 17:35, 2 January 2007 (UTC)

I don't currently have access to the original source material, but the bill that Sir Wilfrid Laurier introduced (regarding the creation of Alberta and Saskatchewan as distinct provinces) contains some very interesting turns of phrase that might indicate a certain mentality regarding the western regions of the country, even a century ago. Among them, if I recall correctly, were comments regarding the provinces' unique ability to provide resources for the rest of the country. In addition, the division between Alberta and Saskatchewan begins to look remarkably artificial, especially given Laurier's comments to the effect that if the region were one province, that it would perhaps possess too much influence. For anyone wishing to do further research into Western Alienation, Laurier's speech in Parliament might be a veritable trove of insight. It's possible that the attitude to "the west" has been colonial even from the start. Diaphane 02:24, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

Why start with Laurier? The West was viewed as colonial from the transfer to Canada by the HBC in 1869-1870. This is why the Red River Rebellion took place basically, the Company transfered the land to the Canadian government without bothering to consult the people who lived there. Of these, the Metis took the greatest offence. The federal government also retained control of the Prairie Provinces natural resources until the 1930s, but today they have as much control over these as any other province in Canada. Wyldkat

Representation formula[edit]

I wonder if we can work in a link to [page] in the discussion on Representation numbers.

Also would be nice if we had a table showing the number of seats each area has and the percentage of the total, with the population of each are and a percentage of the total population beside it.

Something like...(number made up for this example)

Area Seats  % of total seats Population  % of total population
AB 8 6% 3,456,789 8%
BC 14 9% 4,336,293 11%

...and so on. --Kickstart70-T-C 18:02, 20 March 2007 (UTC)

Merger proposal[edit]

I have proposed that several related pages are merged together as they seem to consist of a lot of unsourced OR and very little sources for notability. I think it would be easier to maintain if they were brought together. --neon white talk 21:04, 5 June 2008 (UTC)

Oppose. Western seperatism is quite different from Western alienation. Several fringe political parties have advanced this concept, and most people who might be described as "alienated Westerners" for lack of a better term wish to reform the Federation, not dissolve it. Wyldkat 26 June, 2008.

Weak support. Western separatism seems to be an element of western alienation to me. TastyCakes (talk) 17:24, 26 June 2008 (UTC)

I personally believe the subjects are clearly related, seperatism as result of alienated etc. and a merge is far better than those articles being deleted due to lack of sources for notability. --neon white talk 17:26, 26 June 2008 (UTC)

They're both notable topics. Check out (one of Canada's biggest national papers) and some of their discussion boards. Pretty much everyday someone mentions Western seperation, and Western alienation is a subtext in many federal-provincial news articles. If you do merge the two please be sure to point out that (at the present time) Western seperation is an extreme fringe philosophy, with no electoral success. Western alienation has been a factor however in several left-wing and right-wing parties political successes in Canada (early CCF-NDP, Social Credit, Reform Party). I guess my biggest objection is that a merge may give similar prominence to Western seperatism as Western alienation, when the latter is far more widespread and mainstream.Wyldkat June 27, 2008.

I agree that separatism is much less of an issue than alienation, but I do think separatism is an offshoot of alienation in general. If the two were to be merged, it should certainly be in the form of separation getting a sub-section in the alienation article, which I believe would make clear its lesser importance. TastyCakes (talk) 18:56, 27 June 2008 (UTC)

I am neutral on the question of whether Western alienation and Western separatism should be merged, but if they are, they should be merged into Western alienation, with Western separatism a section toward the end that basically says "these feelings of alienation have led to some to call for separation from Canada" and then get into the specifics. -- (talk) 19:27, 15 September 2009 (UTC)

I would just like to comment on the hilarious irony, that the "western Alienation" page is marked "low" priority on the Canadian wiki project. I think that's totally hilarious and totally indicative of the crux of western alienation. TotallyTempo (talk) 05:41, 8 October 2008 (UTC)

That is pretty funny... I agree it should have a higher importance ranking. TastyCakes (talk) 14:55, 8 October 2008 (UTC)
Pretty funny, but it has to be viewed in the broader context of the importance of everything on Wikipedia. Keep in mind that the assessment on importance was probably made by a non-Canadian. -- (talk) 19:27, 15 September 2009 (UTC)
Well it's not really being viewed in context of everything in Wikipedia, it's being viewed in context of things the Canadian wiki project takes into account. I think most, but certainly not all, frequent contributors to the project are Canadian, so it does seem quite probable it was a Canadian that did the assessment, although probably not someone from "Out West" ;) TastyCakes (talk) 22:55, 15 September 2009 (UTC)
Actually I take that last bit back, it appears that Qyd added the template and, judging from the great pictures, maps and templates he has created and uploaded, he has spent a great deal of time in Alberta, if not actually being from the province. TastyCakes (talk) 23:02, 15 September 2009 (UTC)

POV Tag[edit]

What is of disputed neutrality in the article? I don't see anything discussed here... TastyCakes (talk) 15:05, 8 October 2008 (UTC)

Not sure why neutrality was disputed, but one potential issue is that the article discusses issues causing Western alienation without stating why they are supported elsewhere. A quick example would be the statement that the "no fewer MPs than Senators" rule means that Western provinces are underrepresented - however, no arguments in favor of the rule are stated (e.g., small provinces like PEI would not have any impact in the federal Parliament if they only had one or two MPs). I'm not sure that this is really problem in the end, since getting into the specifics of each individual issue would seem to detract from the broader purpose of stating why some Westerners felt alienated, but it is a potential issue to be aware of. -- (talk) 19:35, 15 September 2009 (UTC)
Well, it's largely incorrect and biased! There are numerous controversial, unsupported statements throughout the article. One example: "A more potent but ambiguous claim is that the Canadian political agenda is directed predominantly by politicians reigning from Eastern Canada who pay less attention policy-wise to Western interests, instead focusing on the more vote-rich central region of Quebec and Ontario." As a whole, the article is no longer true; yes, there certainly was some Western alienation in the past, but so many changes have occurred since then. For that reason, people have been adding various statements to the article to point these out; when you actually *read* the material here, it completely contradicts itself. Check out this paragraph:
Ignoring for the moment the various Wikipedia-related problems in here, note that the paragraph contradicts itself. "BC and Alberta are underrepresented, therefore this is a factor in Western alienation, and, oh, by the way, that's not true in the other 2 provinces, and, oh, Ontario is worse off than all of them except Alberta." There's also no references provided for anything except the fact that, nearly 30 years ago, the Senate was distributed this way. All that that piece of info says is "30 years ago, the Maritimes had more senators than are warranted for their population"; it doesn't say anything about the current situation, nor does it include all non-Western provinces, nor does it imply that Western provinces are being discriminated against. Some policies to check out: WP:OR, WP:SYN, WP:VERIFY.
The article needs to emphasise that this issue has radically declined, and that this is more of a problem of the past. I'm studying ::right now, but I'm going to add more to this later, because this is a huge issue. — Skittleys (talk) 18:38, 20 October 2009 (UTC)

I think neutrality is in question throughout most of the article. This should be an article about western alienation as a sentiment which is based on certain interpretations of past events, and which colours cultural and political views held by some western Canadians. Instead, the article generally comes off as an attempt to convince the reader that the western provinces have been (and still are being) treated unfairly; whether this is true or not, such an argument is not the purpose of a Wikipedia article. Examples of this lack of neutrality can be found throughout the citation-lacking statements in the "History of Alienation" and "Current Factors of Alienation" section (the latter of which should be removed entirely for having no citations whatsoever). In addition, the figures and charts given in the "Economic Factors" and "Equalization Payments" sections, while based on citations, seem largely unnecessary for explaining western alienation as a cultural phenomenon, and instead feel like they've been included simply to argue a point. Finally, the expression "have-not provinces" (found in the "Economic Factors" section) is very problematic, as it is used as if it were clearly-defined, even official, when in fact it is a colloquial and highly subjective term. While I think this topic deserves its own article on Wikipedia, the current article would probably need to be almost entirely re-written for neutrality to not be an issue. Very Undude (talk) 18:29, 31 August 2012 (UTC)


I have added a few citations (maybe a few more later). I also removed statements that were dated as having needed citations since August 2009. --Hamiltonian (talk) 05:32, 10 February 2012 (UTC)

This is being presented exclusively as a right-wing Alberta-centred phenomenon, it has existed outside of that[edit]

This article very specifically described an Alberta-centred right-wing phenomenon. It is true that Alberta has been a base for right-wing Western protest movements such as the Reform Party of Canada, but it has existed outside of Alberta and outside of specific right-wing interests. Arguably it could be traced back to the Red River Rebellion in which Louis Riel and Metis pressed for their own autonomous jurisdiction, which resulted in the founding of what became known as Manitoba. The United Farmers of Alberta, the United Farmers of Canada, the Progressive Party of Manitoba, the Progressive Party of Saskatchewan, the Progressive Party of Canada, Cooperative Commonwealth Federation (CCF) are all examples of left-wing Western-founded movements that were founded out of discontent in the West. Former NDP Premier of British Columbia Dave Barrett during his leadership bid for the federal NDP in 1989, emphasized the theme of Western alienation and the need to respond to it.--R-41 (talk) 04:03, 24 December 2012 (UTC)

removing POV tag with no active discussion per Template:POV[edit]

I've removed an old neutrality tag from this page that appears to have no active discussion per the instructions at Template:POV:

This template is not meant to be a permanent resident on any article. Remove this template whenever:
  1. There is consensus on the talkpage or the NPOV Noticeboard that the issue has been resolved
  2. It is not clear what the neutrality issue is, and no satisfactory explanation has been given
  3. In the absence of any discussion, or if the discussion has become dormant.

Since there's no evidence of ongoing discussion, I'm removing the tag for now. If discussion is continuing and I've failed to see it, however, please feel free to restore the template and continue to address the issues. Thanks to everybody working on this one! -- Khazar2 (talk) 13:01, 14 June 2013 (UTC)

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