The West Versus the Rest

A Timeline of Important Events

Scroll down or use the date navigation below to reveal influential moments in history.


April 2012

Progressive Conservative Alison Redford wins the Alberta election with the promise of forging a new energy strategy with the Rest of Canada.

The Constitution recognizes the provincial right to “exclusively make laws” for the exploration, development, conservation and management of its resources.

April 1982

October 28, 1980

The National Energy Program creates a blended price for old and new oil, and slaps new taxes on gas at the wellhead, the refinery and the pump.

As oil prices rise, Ottawa clamps an export tax on Western crude and freezes the domestic price.


February 13, 1947

After 133 dry holes, Imperial Oil hits black gold at Leduc.

The Alberta government defaults on its bonds.

Spring 1936

August–October 1935

The United Farmers of Alberta lose power to Social Credit. King defeats Bennett in the federal election.

Anderson loses power to Gardiner’s Liberals. Alberta Premier Brownlee resigns amid a sex scandal.

June–July 1934

July 28, 1930

King loses the federal election to R.B. Bennett’s Conservatives.

The British Parliament approves the Constitution Act 1930, which transfers resource control to the West and the unused railway lands to British Columbia.

July 1930

Early 1930

King and Anderson agree on a deal to transfer of resource control.

King signs deals with Brownlee and Bracken.

December 11–December 14, 1929


September, 1929

Conservative James Anderson becomes the new Saskatchewan premier.

The British Columbia Royal Commission calls for the return of the railway lands along with continued subsidies.

February 6, 1928

November 1927

At a pivotal First Ministers’ Conference, King secures general agreement to resolve regional grievances, including the transfer of resource control.

Calgary lawyer R.B. Bennett replaces Meighen as Conservative leader.

October 1927

Spring 1927

In response to the Maritime Royal Commission, King raises subsidies. He asks a Royal Commission to examine British Columbia’s grievances.

The Conservatives lose a vote of non-confidence, and call an election. King campaigns against Byng, and wins.

July–September 1926

June 1926

King asks Governor-General Lord Julian Byng to dissolve Parliament to avoid a motion of censure. Byng refuses, and asks Meighen to form a government.

King appoints a Royal Commission to examine Maritime grievances.

April 1926


January–February 1926

King and Brownlee finalize their deal for resource transfer. King wins a vote of confidence. James Gardiner becomes Saskatchewan Premier.

Meighen wins more seats than King in the federal election – but King waits to test the will of Parliament before resigning.

October 29, 1925


Fall 1925

The UFA caucus replaces Greenfield with Attorney-General John Brownlee.

King and Greenfield do a deal that includes a cash settlement.

November 1924

December 1922

Prince Edward Island claims a share in the West as “an asset of the partnership.”

Bracken rejects the deal that Norris endorsed.

Fall 1922

July 18, 1922

Norris loses power to John Bracken of the United Farmers of Manitoba.

Charles Dunning replaces Martin as Saskatchewan premier. King meets with the three Prairie Premiers – but he can only reach a deal with Norris.


Spring 1922

December 6, 1921

William Lyon Mackenzie King’s Liberals win the federal election.

Alberta Premier Stewart loses power to the United Farmers of Alberta. Herbert Greenfield is the new premier.

July 18, 1921

December 1920– May 1921

Meighen fails to resolve the transfer of resource control.

Borden steps down in favour of Interior Minister Arthur Meighen.


July 1920

August 1919

William Lyon Mackenzie King wins the federal Liberal leadership.

Borden convenes a First Ministers’ Conference – and then leaves for Britain. The talks on resource control deepen the rifts between the West and the Rest of Canada.


Fall 1918

February 1918

At a First Ministers’ gathering, the Maritime premiers refuse to discuss the transfer of Western resource control.

Borden introduces conscription, splitting the Liberal Party. In September, the PM forms a Union government that includes Arthur Sifton; Charles Stewart replaces Sifton.




October 1916

Former MP William Martin replaces Saskatchewan Premier Scott.

Conservative Roblin resigns, and Liberal T.C. Norris replaces him. British Columbia and Ottawa get nowhere on the commission to study its special needs.

10 Tobias Crawford Norris

Spring 1915

August 4, 1914

With Britain’s declaration of war on Germany, Canada is at war.

The Gang of Three is born: Alberta Premier Arthur Sifton, Saskatchewan Premier Walter Scott and Manitoba Premier Rodmond Roblin demand resource control along with continued subsidies in lieu of those resources.


December 1913

October 1913

Borden sets conditions on any transfer of Western resource control.

Borden extends the boundaries of Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec, increases Manitoba’s subsidies in lieu of resources and offers to study British Columbia’s special needs.

Fall 1911–April 1912


September 21, 1911

Laurier loses the federal election to Robert Borden’s Conservatives.

Alberta and Saskatchewan separately demand resource control.

Winter 1910–1911

December 1910

As their clout within Canada wanes, the Maritime Provinces fail to secure their existing allotment of House of Commons seats as a basic minimum.

Laurier introduces bills to create Alberta and Saskatchewan: Ottawa retains resource control but the new provinces receive subsidies in lieu of resources.

February 1905

Fall 1904

After Laurier calls an election, he promises to open negotiations for provincial status after the vote.

Frederick Haultain secures responsible government for the North-West Territories.


June 1897


June 23, 1896

The Liberals under Wilfrid Laurier win a majority government.

Manitoba Premier John Norquay secures a precedent-setting subsidy in lieu of resources.




Parliament ratifies a deal to build the Canadian Pacific Railway for $25 million and twenty-five million Western acres.

British Columbia joins Confederation. Ottawa promises a trans-continental railroad and a subsidy in return for the use of B.C. land for the railway.


July 20, 1871


Spring 1870

Macdonald agrees to create the province of Manitoba – but he refuses demands for resource control.

Louis Riel and the Red River Métis resist Canada’s purchase of Rupert’s Land from the Hudson’s Bay Company.

Fall 1869


July 1, 1867

The Constitution of the new Dominion of Canada foresees the entry of Rupert’s Land and the North-western Territory.