‘Nation within nation’: Moe steps up self-reliance rhetoric

The Saskatchewan NDP called the premier’s sentence a hijacking of its handling of a COVID-19 crisis that forced him to seek federal help.

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Premier Scott Moe calls Saskatchewan a “nation within the nation,” a statement the NDP has dismissed as a distraction from its COVID-19 record.

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Moe posted the phrase on social media on Tuesday and was asked to explain its meaning during a scrum with reporters that afternoon.

He began by criticizing the federal government for declaring at the COP26 conference in Glasgow that Canada will cap emissions from the energy sector. The federal Liberals had already pledged to do so during their election campaign, but Moe said his government was never consulted. “This is no way to run a country,” he said.

Moe said Saskatchewan’s relationship with Ottawa is “deteriorating.” He told reporters that Saskatchewan wants powers similar to those Quebec already has, especially with regard to taxes and immigration.

“This is a commitment that this Saskatchewan government will do everything possible to extend our autonomy within the nation of Canada,” he said.

This is nothing new from Moe. But when asked why he chose to use the phrase “nation within a nation,” he again spoke of seeking greater control, but not separation.

Parliament has already declared Quebec a nation within a united Canada. But Moe said a distinct language shouldn’t be the only marker of nationality.

“We have been a very unique province within the Canadian nation,” he said.

NDP Deputy Leader Nicole Sarauer called Moe’s timing “unpleasant” given the proximity of Remembrance Day. She said Saskatchewan is a province – although she did not directly answer the question of whether it can also be a nation, like Quebec.

“I don’t know what sort of semantics the Prime Minister is trying to use right now,” she said. “This is frankly just a play on words to distract from the fact that we have an appalling COVID death rate, and the Prime Minister couldn’t even keep his own citizens safe and had to rely on it. federal aid. “

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