Saturday , 16 October 2021
Sobolewski speaks at the Treaty Six Flag raising at the Bonnyville town office on May 17.

Mayor Sobolewski in favour of equalization referendum in Alberta

“It’s time we start standing up”

On the heels of a federal election which saw four parties advocate against Alberta oil and a minority Liberal government was elected, a local leader has responded to the growing feeling of Western alienation.

Mayor Gene Sobolewski said on The Morning After he resonates with a growing feeling among Albertans who are feeling forgotten by eastern Canada after the province elected Conservatives in every riding except one.

He said he is behind Premier Jason Kenney in saying there have been mistruths spread about the Alberta oil when asked if the province could see issues dealing with this federal government.


“I know myself personally after looking at the results, particularly Saskatchewan, Alberta, and half of BC, I looked at it and said, perhaps it’s time because the way the Bloc Quebecois have started to raise their profile again and their separatists issues and things like that, why not start to have that dialogue?

“I don’t care whether we’re actually going to break up. I don’t think we’re going to break up Confederation. I don’t want to break up Confederation. But until we start actually having some of the dialogue and some of the discussions why not start to take a look at a referendum and say, hey, wait a minute, is Alberta getting a fair shake? In terms of the equalization transfer payments?” said Sobolewski.

Sobolewski talked about his efforts earlier this year with the region’s leaders to fight Bill C-69 which included a trip to the House of Commons and Ottawa.

He said he understands the frustration Albertans feel that Eastern Canadians receive equalization payments, generated through the resource sector, even when Alberta is a have-not province.

“How dare Alberta ask for funding or trying to get a better deal and equalization and in Ottawa. I look at it and I say what a travesty. Quebec is the one that is that is still reaping glorious amounts of wealth from Alberta. And it’s time we start standing up.

“I am firmly behind the premier in terms of the messaging that there’s been a lot of mistruths. Alberta is one of the cleanest most environmental producers in the world. And we can’t get that message out.

“We have the the atrocities and the lack of environmental concern in Russia and Venezuela and Saudi Arabia and a lot of others even the US, because they’ve started to cut down in their their environmental concerns. But that’s okay. I guess because it’s time to pick on Alberta. And getting back to your question. I think there’s going to be some significant issues,” he said.

About Michael Menzies

Menzies is the editor-at-large for Connected Media Inc. Born and raised in Vermilion, he started in May 2018 during his NAIT Radio and Television practicum and reports on local politics, sports, and community issues. He became the Bonnyville Pontiacs play-by-play voice during the 2019-20 season. He also comments on provincial and national issues. Menzies hosts Connected! Evening Monday-Thursday at 5 o’clock. He also likes to buy books and read some of them.