Challenges for Western Independence


The penultimate paragraph of the Declaration of Independence recalls how often the Colonies had warned their "British brethren" against their extension of unwarrantable jurisdiction by Parliament. The colonists had by 1776 often appealed to the "native justice and magnanimity" no less than the anticipated pain of disrupting the close connections across the North Atlantic, but always to no avail. Since before the Confederation of Canada, Westerners have done the same regarding their imperial masters in London and then in Ottawa. Westerners may yet await their own Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, or James Madison, and there can be no guarantee that one such will arrive. On the other hand, as the alternatives to independence are, by anticipation, successively forestalled by Laurentian Canada, the likelihood increases that Westerners will not resign themselves to the endless experience of "sufferable evils." It seems to me that one way or another, the windows of opportunity to avoid the acceleration of sentiments in favour of independence are, one by one, shutting.

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