wexit alberta

Wexit is now a thing as Alberta threatens to separate from the rest of Canada

Wexit began trending in Alberta not long after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau took the stage early Tuesday morning in Montreal to celebrate his re-election.

Driven by frustrated voters in Western Canada, and especially Alberta, the term Wexit — a Western Canadian play on Brexit — began trending as the top topic on Twitter in Canada.

It has remained the top trending topic throughout the morning.

Some observers, rightly, pointed out that the name Wexit is kind of dumb.

It's also not new. "Wexit" is a term that has been bandied about for months, and apart from Tuesday's social trending has largely remained a rallying cry for right wing activists.

Nevertheless, Canada's Western prairie provinces voted overwhelmingly in favour of the Conservative Party of Canada on Monday.

The Conservatives won all 14 ridings in Saskatchewan and captured all but one seat in Alberta, giving them 33 MPs from the Wildrose province. The one riding that did not go Conservative, Edmonton Strathcona, elected an NDP MP.

While the likelihood of Alberta separation remains low, one in three of the province's residents supported the idea of forming their own country, according to one August survey.

That's not radically different from contemporary support for Quebec sovereignty, which also saw a boost on election night with a resurgent Bloc Québécois.

Research by the Environics Institute released earlier this year found that 57 per cent of residents in Saskatchewan and Alberta feel the federal government is irrelevant to them.

Meanwhile, for the first time in thirty years of polling, a majority of people in Alberta and Saskatchewan agreed with the statement “Western Canada gets so few benefits from being part of Canada that they might as well go it on their own.”

Still, the idea of separation seems to have gained little practical traction at the ballot box. In Alberta's 2019 provincial election, the Alberta Independence Party — which advocates for the province's separation from Canada — received less than one per cent of the popular vote.

One resident of British Columbia, Canada's westernmost province, was quick to remind people that Wexit doesn't quite work because BC isn't really all that interested.

And an Indigenous man reminded Alberta voters that the land they live on isn't exactly theirs to separate from anything.

He's not wrong.

Lead photo by

John Lee

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