UNGOVERNABLE: Alberta's Quest for Independence

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In February 2022, producer Kian Simone watched as RCMP officers starved out peaceful pro-freedom protesters during a week-long standoff at the Coutts, Alberta-Sweet Grass, Montana, border crossing. It was unclear whether that order came directly from Ottawa.

This incident is reminiscent of a familiar theme, one that has encapsulated the past 115 years of Alberta's history. Since Confederation, Albertans have felt ignored and mistreated by bureaucrats in central, or Laurentian, Canada.

In 1947, oil was discovered in the province, bringing new hope and optimism for Alberta's economic future. It was the world's third-largest reserve, turning the province from Canada's breadbasket to an energy-producing powerhouse.

That is, until Prime Minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau came along to cripple Alberta's growth and reverse its economic trajectory.

In 2015, Alberta suffered another loss. A second Trudeau came to power, once again subjugating the province to the whims of the Laurentian elite.

The federal government's malicious meddling has led to the rise of an independence movement that has slowly grown in strength and resolve. Over the past two years, pandemic lockdowns have only served to fan the flames of the independence movement — sparking a fire that may never be extinguished.

In this documentary, Kian Simone travels across Alberta to explore the province's rich history and meet the people behind the growing independence movement as he investigates what caused a wave of passive anger to reach a tipping point.

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