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Alberta Prosperity Project makes a stop in Bonnyville

Nearly 300 residents, including Bonnyville MLA David Hanson, attend an in-person speakers' series to learn about the Alberta Prosperity Project and “the rationale and merits of an independent Alberta.”

BONNYVILLE – Close to 300 people poured into the Bonnyville Rodeo Grounds Hall on the evening of Friday, June 17, to learn what the Alberta Prosperity Project (APP) is all about through a series of speakers, along with a question-and-answer period.  

Recently founded, the APP operates as a non-profit and non-partisan educational society. 

While there are many topics and concerns that unify the APP members, what binds the group together is the desire to see Alberta prosper through independence from Canada. 

“The Alberta Prosperity Project is an inspiring initiative to unite all Albertans, businesses, and organizations to protect their interests, freedoms and rights, prosperity, and self-determination by the only means possible, which is to enable Alberta to chart a new path forward unconstrained by the consistent unfair treatment of Alberta within Confederation,” states the APP’s website. “The road to freedom and prosperity is through independence.” 

The comments shared by speakers Dr. Dennis Modry, APP’s chief executive officer, and Tanner Hnidey, APP’s VP of economics, point to a counter-reaction to government public health measure during the COVID-19 pandemic, environmental policies that tax carbon, Alberta equalization payments, and federal plans for transitioning away from Alberta’s oil and gas industries. 

The world is changing they say, and the only way to ensure the continued freedoms of Albertans is to form “a new Constitutional Republic of Alberta.” 

Modry asked those in attendance if they were dissatisfied with the decisions and actions of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau – nearly every hand in the room went up. He then asked how many people in the audience were dissatisfied with interim Premier Jason Kenney, again, nearly every hand in the room was raised. 

Audience members expressed a clear dissatisfaction with today’s current political leaders at multiple levels. 

Hnidey told audience members that we are currently living in a time of “ideological warfare.” 

Corruption at the highest levels of government along with “fiscal mismanagement poses an existential threat to our lives,” he said.  

Hnidey also pointed to concerns of “a woke school system,” “environmental alarmists,” political collaboration with the World Economic Forum, and “fear that is destroying our economy,” which are all things that APP believes can be solved through the sovereignty of Alberta as an independent nation. 

“Freedom is not free... and you can’t have prosperity without freedom,” he said. 

A movement 

Both Modry and Hnidey described members of APP as a parade of politically minded individuals that other politicians want to capitalize on. 

“Every party wants to jump out in front of us – the UCP (United Conservative Party), the Independence Party of Alberta, the Wildrose (Independence Party), except for maybe the NDP (New Democratic Party),” said Modry with a smile. “We are the parade.” 

And while the organization maintains that they are non-partisan and will not direct how members should vote, they are developing their own educational materials and webinars on the benefits of separation that are available publicly online. 

Also speaking at the event was Cold Lake Lawyer Leighton Grey.  

“Canada is a failed dream,” said Grey. “We can’t achieve prosperity in Canada.”  

Referencing the Canadian Constitution, he said it was not only possible to separate from Canada, but that it was necessary to split from the federation for Albertans to maintain the industries and resources that are generated in and by the province. 

Whistle Stop owner, Chris Scott from Mirror, Alta. was the last speaker of the evening. 

MLA Hanson attends 

During the event Bonnyville-Cold Lake-St. Paul MLA David Hanson shook hands with APP speakers and others attending the event. 

“I was invited to it by one of my friends in Bonnyville and I've actually got a huge amount of respect for Dr. Modry, so it was a pretty easy choice (to attend),” said Hanson, speaking to Lakeland This Week by phone after the event.   

“They had a lot of good things to say, and I share the frustration that has brought us to this point.” 

Hanson reiterates that while he understands peoples' frustrations, he makes it clear that his opposition is with the current federal government and not with Canada as a whole. 

“From my perspective, our fight isn't with Canada and the people of Canada. It's with Justin Trudeau and the Liberal Party.” 

He notes that we should be careful “not to throw the baby out with the bath water.” 

“I think we need to deal with getting a government in federally that understands Alberta and the contributions that we put in. It's not that I don't agree with what (APP) is trying to do – like I said, I understand the frustration, but I just don't see it that our fight is with Canada and the people of Canada, it's with one particular man and his party.” 

With the current federal government, there is pressure on Alberta, he says.  

“So, whether it's our cattle industry, oil and gas industry or forestry – the federal government is not our friend, and they will do everything they can to make life miserable for Alberta.” 

Hanson adds that as a public representative he must be open to all opinions. 

When it comes to the group's dissatisfaction with Kenney, he says he understands that too. 

"The biggest problem that I had with Jason Kenney was that he wouldn't listen. He didn't listen to Albertans, and he didn't listen to caucus.” 

Kenney’s lack of consideration for what the ratepayers wanted was a part of the reason for his narrow leadership review victory, according to Hanson. 

“That's why as a caucus and as a party, the people that were looking at the future of Alberta decided that he was not the best man to lead us through to 2023.” 

Looking to the upcoming leadership race, Hanson says he is impressed with the candidates that have put their names forward to serve as the next leader of the UCP.  

“That’s pretty exciting to see the interest in our party because I think that the United Conservative Party, unified and respecting the needs of Alberta, is the party to lead us into the future.”

Jazmin Tremblay

About the Author: Jazmin Tremblay

Jazmin completed a minor in journalism at Hanze University in the Netherlands and completed her Communication Studies degree from MacEwan University with a major in journalism.
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