Derek Sloan on Western Alienation, The Paris Agreement and Oil & Gas

Written By Wyatt Claypool, Posted on March 24, 2020

Conservative Party leadership candidate, and Member of Parliament of Hastings-Lennox and Addington, Derek Sloan, recently became officially verified this past week. He will be appearing on the ballot for the leadership vote in June or later if the leadership race is delayed due to the COVID19 pandemic.

The National Telegraph interviewed with Derek Sloan to go in-depth on issues regarding Western alienation, resource development, and provincial jurisdiction.  

Sloan highlighted how things have gotten worse for Western Canada since the 2019 election despite Trudeau being shown that his policy had polarized the West against him.

“Even after the poor showing in the recent election [in the West], Trudeau has reaffirmed his hostility to resource development by making two decisions that represent a direct hit on the economy of Western Canada. He committed candidates to an environmental plan that would please international eco radicals, but hamstring attempts at resource development in the West. And so we saw the Teck Frontier mine pull out, a major project that would have created 7000 jobs and [billions] in revenue in Alberta.”

The separatist feeling is at its highest point ever in Alberta currently, Sloan sees Trudeau’s role in the discontent in Western Canada as outright “stoking alienation” through blatant disregard.


Sloan clarified how he sees Trudeau’s attitude towards the West, saying, “Prime Minister Trudeau doesn’t really seem to care or get it. The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference, and that’s what we are seeing.”

Regarding the 2019 election, Sloan’s perspective was that Trudeau had knowingly played different regions of Canada against one another, creating divisions in which to win more votes from.

“I feel that anti-Western sentiment was basically trafficked in Quebec by Trudeau for political gain. And, you know, of course, for me, I would be trying to build up every province across the country as opposed to setting one region against another. I think he did that just because he felt he probably wouldn’t do well in the West anyway, so he might as well build on this anti-Western sentiment for his own gain in Quebec.”

Sloan added that much of the disconnect between Eastern and Western Canada is created by a lack of knowledge in places like the Greater Toronto Area of how much all of Canada relies on resource development in the West.

Despite many Eastern politicians ignoring the issue, Sloan acknowledges that Alberta separatist sentiments are sombre, and are motivated by real frustration and a lack of political recourse, especially in provinces like Alberta and Saskatchewan. 

Sloan explained that “Western Canada hasn’t seriously considered separation since the 1980s. The National Energy Program from Trudeau Sr. was essentially made to penalize the resource sector out of spite. In the Chrétien Martin and Harper years, we never saw that discussion come up at all.” Sloan went on to target the current Prime Minister stating that, “Justin Trudeau in five years of the government has put Western separatism on the front burner and by killing the northern gateway pipeline, placing a moratorium on B.C. Coast oil tankers (Bill C-48), and Bill C-69, has turned the frustration that we’ve had into alienation.”

One aspect of Sloan’s plan to combat western alienation is a commitment to increasing Western Canadian’s seat counts in parliament. Sloan put forward that, “the growth in seats around Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver under Harper was a good thing… a government led by me would watch census numbers closely to ensure fair representation.”

Sloan went onto state that as the Conservative Party leader, he would be absolutely in favour of repealing Bills like C-69 and C-48. Still, he also added that he opposes the Paris Agreement, which he wants Canada to renounce the “make-believe” standard of. Sloan said the agreement was  “biased against [Canada]” and added that Canada should reject the “mindset that says any [resource] production on our part is a negative thing.” 

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On the issue of foreign imported oil and gas, Sloan challenged the current importation, saying,  “Why should we be allowing the world to consume those products, when we have those in our very own backyard? Frankly, we do a good job of extracting them, and we do it to the highest environmental standards? So it’s just ridiculous that the Middle East can be making all this money when we know for a fact that some of these profits are going to finance terrorism and other types of things.”

Sloan sees the main issue undergirding all resource development issues, and the frustration being felt in Western Canada is a lack of adherence to provincial jurisdiction.  

Sloan said, “If you look at the Constitution, sections 91 and 92 are pretty good ways of dividing jurisdiction between the two levels of governments. I just don’t feel the federal government’s been respecting [the provinces’ rights]….Trudeau’s government has been meddling in provincial jurisdiction.”

Sloan explained that “Municipal jurisdiction is meant to cover land use and zoning, So you know, places like Calgary and Wet’suwe’ ten lands should have a greater say on land use than Ottawa in many ways.” Sloan continued clarifying that “provinces should have free rein to approve and adjudicate projects within their territories.”

In the interview, Sloan assured that under his leadership, the government would champion resource development, but would not violate the jurisdiction provinces have over natural resources. Sloan wants the government to promote growth, but in a hands-off approach so that provinces can regain more of their lost sovereignty. 

Overall, Sloan, despite being an Eastern Canadian freshman MP, is taking very Western friendly positions. It’s still early on in the Conservative leadership selection process, so nobody will know what kind of support Sloan will be attracting with the positions he has taken thus far.

As this leadership race goes on, it will be necessary for candidates to reach across the country and build a coalition of both Eastern and Western Canadians if they hope to become the Conservative Party leader. 

Wyatt Claypool

Wyatt is a student at Mount Royal University, where he is the president of its Campus Conservative club. In his writing, he focuses on covering provincial and federal politics, firearms regulation, and the energy sector. Wyatt has also previously written for The Post Millennial.

2 responses to “Derek Sloan on Western Alienation, The Paris Agreement and Oil & Gas”

  1. ed whittle says:

    I agree with him, he is high on my list to get my vote. I am however waiting for Lewis to reveil her platform before I decide, but for me right now, its Sloan or Lewis.

  2. Jo Hodgson says:

    Derek is saying a lot of what is important for myself and my family, my one concern was how he felt about our oil and gas natural resources and he says he is behind them and he believes, as we do, that it is so important for our economy for the future…so yes at this time I am picking Derek Sloan as my candidate choice for the leader of the Conservative party….