The growth of protest movements in the form of the Social Credit PAarty and the CCF (fore runner to the NDP) and "western alienation" resulted as well as the demand "the West wants in" and of the Reform Party.
The West (from Manitoba to B.C.), started to change when OPEC was created and oil became king. Prices and demands went up and together with the demand for natural gas and potash gave new strength to Sasketchewan and Alberta. B.C. also grew as the wealth from its agriculture and forestry and minimg began to flow. There was westward migration as people flocked to these provinces in search of a better life. "The West wants in". It wanted its fair share.. The Trudeau government's Energy Policy and the creation of Petro-Canada was seen in the West as another grab for its new-found wealth, but this time they were defiant not compliant. Their newly-gained financial clout and the emergence of leaders as Lougheed, Blakeney, as well as a new movement led by Preston Manning saw to this.
The West was almost totally lost to the Liberals (who were seen as favoring Quebec and Ontario) and this was concreted when Trudeau gave them the "finger". The patriation of the constitution was opposed by the West and only agreed upon when concessions were won (protection of provincial rights etc.).
Brian Mulroney, formed a coalition of the West (anger/alienation) and Quebec ( distinct society/patriation) and trounced the Liberals in 1964 and 1988 elections (Harper would form a coalition of rural/suburban Ontario and the West to do the same in 2011). Mulroney got rid of the Energy Policy and Petro Can. for the West and for Quebec he gave them Meech Lake Accord. He also negotiated the Free Trade Agreement and got rid of FIRA, saying that "Canada is open for business" and so it was.
The immediate and lasting effect was that Canada's manufacturing sector was an undefended target (for example, before the FTA, in the auto industry, the Auto Pact was the rule from the mid-sixties when it was signed....for every car sold in Canada, one will be made in Canada with 60% Canadian content. This gave an advantage and protection to the auto industry which was lost after FTA and later NAFTA .Under these agreements there could no longer bwe this advantage and protection.
American branch-plants no longer had to operate in Canad in order to avoid duty on products. They can be made in Mexico and be sold duty-free in Canada. Branch plants and jobs moved out. The auto industry was almost destroyed and othe manufacturing sectors also suffered. It was cheaper to produce eleswhere. Then came globalisation and the whole world turned to China, which became the "manufacturer to the world".
Jobs were lost and the dollar plunged. The Liberals, led by Jean Chretien, rode that to power in 1993 and set about with austerity and belt-tightening to repair the economy. Gradually it was revived (along-side great growth in the USA under Clinton). The Liberals stayed in power for 13 years (9 with Chretien as leader), but fatigue, leadership conflicts and scandal brought them down.
, Harper won the last election and the NDP finished in a surprising second place and after the deathof their leader Jack Layton, elected Thomas Mulcair as their new leader. He brings a new style, abrasive, aggressive and prickly. He seems to have a chip on his shoulder and is always angry. Thus his petulance in refusing to meet Western provincial leaders and his blunt assessment that it is the West and especially the Tar Snds that are responsible for the loss of jobs in the manufacturing sector nad for the rise of the Canadian dollar.
His use of the term 'Dutch disease" is more a cliche and for scoring points for being informed about things foreign, but it's not very bright. Yes, the Dutch currency rose when natural gas was discovered. So what? The Dutch should have forsaken this new-found wealth because it made their currency more valuable and their life more comfortable? So Alberta, B.C and Sasketchewan should stop selling their oil, gas, potash, forestry products, wheat and other resources because it made the Canadian dollar rise in value and made Canadian products more valuable? That these provinces should deny themselves so that Ontarions can live in style? That USA and China and others should do us a favor and not buy our products because it made us wealthier on the whole?
What kind of buffonery is this? Get rid of globalisation because it takes jobs away to places that work cheaper? because it is not good for Cnada? Should we live in a cocoon, sheltering/insulating ourselves from the world and its demands for our products? What nonsense.
Mulcair needs to hone up on his economics, before he opens his mouth and say something foolish. There is a real world of wants and needs and we, in Canad have what they want. Yes, we must act responsibly and do our share on things like global warming, environmental degradation, melting ice-caps, dead dolphins and honey bees, because afterall we are CANADIANS.
He needs to lighten up and not play politics with Canadian unity. Playing the game of "divide and win", may have short-term and personal appeal, but there is a heavy price to pay in the long term. Playing for votes in Ontario by demonising Alberta and the Oil Sands will not work but, will cause increasing tension in Canada. In the past all concern was with the threat of Quebec separation and any talk of Western separation was shrugged off as a pipe dream. No more. It is there bubbling under the surface, waiting to burst out and it has the wealth and the confidence. All it needs is a reason.