The House

Alberta and Quebec have different arguments for separation, says Bloc MP

A Bloc MP says Alberta doesn't have the same case for special status in the federation that Quebec does.

"I think Albertans are mainly Canadians," Stephane Bergeron says

Stéphane Bergeron, a Bloc MP, says Quebec and Alberta have different cases for separation. (CBC)

A Bloc Québécois MP says Alberta has a weaker case for special status within the federation than Quebec does — and doesn't have a strong enough argument to split from Canada altogether.

Stephane Bergeron told The House that Alberta doesn't have the distinct history, language or culture necessary to warrant separation.

Western separation has been floated by people in Alberta and the Prairies who are discontented with how the federal government in Ottawa is dealing with their economic plight.

"I think Albertans are mainly Canadians," Bergeron said, adding it's not up to him to say whether Alberta constitutes a distinct nation or not.

"I must admit that, at first glance, I don't see a big difference with the language, the culture, the history of Albertans compared to the language, the culture, and the history of British Columbians or Manitobans or Ontarians," he said. 

"I see a big difference in culture and language in history between Quebec and the rest of Canada."

He said he thinks Alberta has every right to talk with the federal government about things like establishing its own pension plan and a separate tax structure.

The Alberta government presented Ottawa with a list of demands for what it calls a "fair deal" for the province. There will be ongoing discussions in this minority Parliament on how to address the province's concerns.

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