It has been nearly 115 years since the provinces Alberta and Saskatchewan were established. Through pure determination and will, the citizens of Alberta and Saskatchewan have developed these provinces into economic necessities for Canada. Despite suffering through extremely challenging economic, environmental, and deliberate external political interference, Albertans and Saskatchewanians continue to be successful.
Alberta and Saskatchewan were founded out of a national dream to connect British Columbia with the eastern provinces, securing Canada’s future and protecting it from American encroachment. Settlers and immigrants flocked to the prairies seeking free land (well, almost free). The idea was to develop communities along the national railway and to establish an economic corridor that would sustain the rail connection between British Columbia and the rest of Canada. Settlers and immigrants diligently toiled for generations, developing the natural resources around them, building communities, raising families, and contributing enormously to the rest of Canada. Their development and success have always been, in one way or another, dependent on external permissions or allowances, especially for passage and trade.
This paper examines the fundamental rights of Albertans and Saskatchewanians have to tide-water, riparian rights, economic rights, and mobility rights; and the neglect of those rights by the federal government for the past 115 years, when decisions were based on a different set of circumstances and not on the future outlook for these Canadian citizens. The circumstances and future outlook policymakers faced 115 years ago are not the same today. To be at least as successful as the past 115 years, Canada needs to revise its internal boundaries now, so as to provide all provinces and their citizens equal rights: access to sea, riparian rights, economic opportunities, and mobility rights.