Federal-provincial relations in Canada have often been contentious. In 1979 and 1980, at a time of sky-rocketing world oil prices, the Liberal government in Ottawa began to covet Alberta's oil riches. Simple sparring on the part of the two governments turned into a major confrontation on October 28, 1980, when Ottawa passed the draconian National Energy Program. NEP was seen as a blatant grab of resources which rightfully belonged to Albertans, and it reduced both the province's control over, and revenues from, its petroleum riches.
Premier Peter Lougheed became Alberta's champion, defending the province against NEP and its unpopular perpetrators, Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau and Energy Minister Marc Lalonde. The ongoing confrontation was captured superbly by Tom Innes, political cartoonist for the Calgary Herald newspaper.
Alberta Premier Peter Lougheed repels Ottawa. March 10, 1979. Glenbow Archives M-8000-380