Famed psychologist Dr. Jordan Peterson says Alberta should separate from Canada if the federal government tries to take control over its provincial resources.

Prairie provinces have full control over resource development as enshrined in the 1930s Natural Resource Transfer Agreement — which federal Justice Minister David Lammetti said he would look at rescinding earlier this week.

In response, Peterson told Alberta Premier Danielle Smith to separate, if necessary. 

“Reject. Rebel. Separate if necessary,” Peterson wrote on Twitter. 

In a joint statement, Smith, Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe and Manitoba Premier Heather Stefenson said the rights have been fundamental to the people and the economic autonomy of Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta for nearly 100 years.

“The federal government cannot unilaterally change the Constitution. It should not even be considering stripping resource rights away from the three Prairie provinces,” the trio said.

“The prime minister needs to immediately retract these dangerous and divisive comments by his justice minister.”

Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre said, “Trudeau’s Justice Minister David Lametti threatened to overturn the constitution and take federal control over provincial resources.”

“I’ll never allow this attack by the costly coalition on our prairie resource workers.”

Lametti responded online, saying he didn’t commit Ottawa “to reviewing areas of provincial jurisdiction.”

The backlash arose after Grand Chief Brian Hardlotte of the Prince Albert Grand Council and Chief Donald Maracle of the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte called on the federal government to rescind the Natural Resources Transfer Act.

“Canada exports natural resources to other countries. They earn trillions of dollars in revenues from those resources,” Maracle said.

 “Those resources were given to the provinces without ever asking one Indian if it was okay to do that, or what benefits would the First Nations expect to receive by Canada consenting to that arrangement.”

Lametti said he would commit to looking into the issue. 

 “It won’t be uncontroversial, is the only thing I would say, with a bit of a smile,” he added. 


  • Rachel Emmanuel

    Rachel is a seasoned political reporter who’s covered government institutions from a variety of levels. A Carleton University journalism graduate, she was a multimedia reporter for three local Niagara newspapers. Her work has been published in the Toronto Star. Rachel was the inaugural recipient of the Political Matters internship, placing her at The Globe and Mail’s parliamentary bureau. She spent three years covering the federal government for iPolitics. Rachel is the Alberta correspondent for True North based in Edmonton.