The Buffalo Declaration: Fact-Checking Four Alberta MPs’ Demands

Melanie Woods
Conservative MP Michelle Rempel Garner speaks in Ottawa on May 7, 2019.

“Canada is in crisis.”

So begins the Buffalo Declaration, a document released by Conservative Calgary Nose Hill MP Michelle Rempel Garner Thursday. The declaration is co-signed by three other Alberta Tories, and demands “equality” for the province under the constitution.

Besides now getting to use the excellent pun of referring to these MPs as the “Buffalo wing” of the Conservative Party — and developing a hankering for blue cheese dressing along the way — this document reignited debate about Western alienation, conversations that followed last fall’s election after the ruling Liberals didn’t win a single seat in Alberta or Saskatchewan. 

It’s also sparked a wave of critiques from Albertans and other people across Canada, arguing that the alienated Westerners don’t represent their views and legitimize dangerous separatist sentiments.

WATCH: Alberta premier reacts to letter calling for Ottawa to deny Teck project. Story continues below. 

 

But what is this document and how seriously should you take it? 

Here are some answers to your Buffalo Declaration questions. 

What is the Buffalo Declaration?

The Buffalo Declaration is a 13-page document and accompanying webpage released on Feb. 20 signed by four Conservative members of Parliament. It outlines concerns about Alberta’s role in the federal government and what the signees call a push for “equality” for the province. The authors definition of equality has a number of different pillars, from repealing carbon taxes to changing the size of Parliament.

The declaration outlines the “challenges” faced by Alberta and possible solutions. It contends that Alberta is “physically and economically isolated” from Canada’s power structures.

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