Momentum has exploded for the western separatist movement Wexit since the election of the federal Liberal minority government Monday – bringing with it planned rallies across Alberta, says the group’s founder.
Peter Downing said the election was right there for the Conservatives’ taking.
“They had their last chance. We are launching Wexit candidates. We’re going to be registered very soon as a federal separatist bloc. The Reform Party did it in the ’80s and ’90s with the slogan ‘The West Wants In.’
“Ours is ‘The West Wants Out,’” Downing said Tuesday.
Premier Jason Kenney seemed to be aware of the sentiment when he said Alberta voters spoke with “one voice of defiance” when they elected 33 Conservative MPs Monday, handing just one seat to the NDP.
“That was a very diverse spectrum of Albertans who sent a message last night. Many of them are saying they don’t feel at home in their own country,” said Kenney.
Downing said interest in Wexit blew up after the election results came in. The VoteWexit.com Facebook page had 230,000 members by Wednesday.
“We didn’t expect that much this quick. These are regular people. They are looking for somebody to protect their livelihood.
“They are ready to separate because they know what a Trudeau minority government means the Trans Mountain pipeline is not getting built.”
In addition to Alberta sovereignty, the Wexit platform includes enhanced economic, military and geo-political co-operation with the United States; delivering essential government services only and ending public investment in unreliable energy technology such as wind and solar.
Downing said Albertans want access to tide water for oil resources and they want the taxes and provincial transfer money that leave Alberta to be reinvested in their province.
He said the Liberal’s carbon tax is going to level Albertans who are already struggling, so the time is now to pressure Kenney to hold a referendum on separation.
“We’re going to put so much pressure on Premier Jason Kenney to hold a referendum on separation, kick out the RCMP, to unilaterally take control again of firearms, taxation, immigration and payroll deductions — we’re going to do it right now.
“He’s got a choice to make. Does he want to be the premier of Alberta and fight the way that Albertans deserve, or is he going to give us fairy tales about referendums and equalization that don’t mean anything?”
Downing said applications are in the process of being submitted to hold Wexit protests at the provincial legislature and at Calgary City Hall.
Wexit rallies are already scheduled for Nov. 2 in Edmonton, Nov. 16 in Calgary and Nov. 30 in Red Deer.