OPINION: Alberta would be better off if it joined the U.S.

We hear from an American writer who says Alberta would do better in the United States than it does in Canada.
TransCanada's Keystone XL pipeline has been a controversial project in both the United States and Canada., but if Alberta joined the United States it wouldn't need presidential approval. (Tony Gutierrez/Associated Press)

Peter Zeihan's new book is all about the U.S. and its place in the world-- but it includes a chapter on Alberta. That's where he makes the case that Alberta would be better off leaving confederation and hitching its wagon to the United States.

Zeihan argues that Canadian demographics are stacked against Alberta. Alberta is much younger and wealthier than the rest of Canada and Zeihan says that means Canada will be increasingly dependent on the wild rose country to fund social programs for an aging population. Zeihan argues that the burden of transfer payments from Alberta to Ottawa is unsustainable, and bound to get worse.

"It will be the highest transfer process between province and centre anywhere in the western world, by a factor of three."

He says that Alberta would benefit from having obstacles removed from the relationship with what is already the province's biggest trading partner. 

Zeihan acknowledges that there are some political and cultural differences between Alberta and the U.S. that could be problematic in joining the Union. But he believes there are more cultural and economic factors in common than dividing the two.

In terms of a cultural journey, it's about the shortest trip you can make in the world.- Peter Zeihan


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