TORONTO — The group behind the political motion “Wexit” utilized to become a registered party Monday, its chief mentioned.
Peter Downing instructed CTV’s Your Morning that Wexit Alberta had taken the primary steps to changing into a federal party and filed paperwork with Elections Canada.
“We’re sending in over 500 signatures, over double the required 250 signatures,” mentioned the founder. “We’re going to do for Western Canada what the Bloc Quebecois does for Quebec.”
Wexit, a portmanteau of “western and exit,” is a western separatist motion that has appeared to be gaining momentum since Justin Trudeau’s Liberals received the 43rd federal election. About 700 individuals reportedly attended a rally in Edmonton over the weekend the place Downing and others had been seen sporting blue “Make Alberta Great Again” hats, a nod to U.S. President Donald Trump’s profitable 2016 marketing campaign slogan. A Facebook web page for the group created in June has greater than 30,700 likes.
Downing penned an open letter to Alberta Premier Jason Kenney asking for a referendum on separation, which Kenney has mentioned he doesn’t help.
“He’s got the opportunity to be the first Prime Minister of Alberta, absolutely. Be a hero. Lead us to the door to our economic liberty, our social stability and our self-determination,” mentioned Downing. “The door is locked from the inside and he has the opportunity to open it for us.”
Downing mentioned Wexit Alberta has three key goals: the unification of western Canadian provinces, elect members of parliament to legislate points the straight influence the west, and to “bring Western Canadian nations to national forefront.”
Actually succeeding in a transfer to separate is a “complicated and time consuming” activity, mentioned University of Saskatchewan Political Science Professor Joseph Garcea.
“I’m not sure that this is a serious effort to move in that direction,” he mentioned of the Wexit Alberta motion. “I think that this is more about partisan politics and posturing than it is about separation.”
Some criticism of the group has pointed to the Bloc Quebecois’ requires sovereignty, which have by no means resulted in a profitable bid to separate from the nation. Downing countered that that party has been profitable in different methods, together with what some within the Wexit Alberta group deem to be unfair equalization funds. Quebec was the best beneficiary of the equalization fee in 2019-20 at $13.1 billion in funds.
“A lot of that comes from Alberta. From our perspective it’s a very unfair equalization program. We went through a horrible downturn and are still going through that right now,” mentioned Downing. “For a number of reasons right now western Canadians, and Alberta in particular, are looking into the situation and we really do think that we are going to be better off separate from the ruling authorities in Ottawa.”