Wexit Alberta

Hundreds of angry white people in Alberta really want to separate from Canada

Ah, Alberta: the "Texas of Canada," as one of my friends visiting from Sweden once tenuously put it.

The cowboy hats, the oil, the "traditional" family values... I get it — but not until recently did many of us elsewhere in the country understand just how distinctly un-Canadian Albertans feel themselves to be.

This weekend, an estimated 700 residents of the province gathered at an Edmonton bar called (I kid you not) the Boot Scootin' Boogie Dancehall for a rally in support of the Wexit movement.

They, along with some 30,000 others on Facebook, are backing an Alberta Separatism campaign that took off in the wake of October's federal election, when Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau was re-elected Prime Minister

Wexiteers, inspired (at least in name) by the U.K.'s Brexit movement, believe that Canada's western prairie provinces should secede and form their own nation. More than 260,000 people had joined a Facebook group called VoteWexit.com as of Monday, November 3. 

Support for the movement has been observed among residents in Saskatchewan, Manitoba and, to a far, far lesser extent, B.C., but much of the action so far has focused on Alberta, where the Conservative Party of Canada captured all but one seat in last month's federal election.

Saturday night's rally in Edmonton saw Albertan separatists voice their frustrations over Trudeau being reelected Prime Minister despite the west's cohesive support for PC leader Andrew Scheer, as well as immigration policies, carbon taxes and equalization formulas.

It also saw people wearing red MAGA hats, identical to those worn by supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential election, save for the replacement of "America" with "Alberta."

Experts say it's highly-unlikely that the Wexiteers will succeed in their quest to secede for various legal, historical and land ownership reasons.

Still, the sentiments being shared by members of the movement — and its similarity to the successful populist campaigns of politicians like Trump and Ontario Premier Doug Ford — are proving worrisome for many.

"A certain sect of Albertans have seemed to turn into a breed as ignorant and brainwashed as Trump supporters," wrote one Twitter user on Sunday. "Like the walking dead emerging from an oily swamp."

"Hundreds doesn't make a Wexit, out of 36 Million citizens," wrote another. "These people are embarrassing. They should go join Trump... these people support climate destruction, support racism, support making the rich richer at their expense."

Some Wexit supporters are even advocating for Alberta to join the U.S., but the fact remains that Canadians aren't Americans, and Trump isn't our country's leader.

The U.S. President has his own drama to deal with. Doug Ford is planted firmly in Ontario. Alberta's own premier, Jason Kenney, isn't on board with leaving Canada, as doing so would most definitely jeopardize any of Alberta's existing pipeline plans. 

Even the notoriously anti-immigrant People's Party of Canada leader Maxime Bernier, who was voted out of parliament last month, is taking a "break" from politics to chop firewood at the cottage and stuff.

Thus, a new xenophobic demagogue has emerged in the absence of a real politician to lead the Wexit pack.

"We're going to make Alberta great again, and that is when we cut ourselves off from the leech that is eastern Canada," said self-described Wexit Canada founder Peter Downing to a raucous crowd at the Boot Scootin' Boogie Dancehall on Saturday.

"We are not, as Albertans, going to sit around and wait on the government to give us a welfare cheque. It's not happening," he said. "We're separating and that's what's going to happen."

Downing, an ex-RCMP constable who was once criminally convicted of uttering threats to his spouse, has accused Trudeau of "normalizing pedophilia," and uses terms like "left-wing cream puffs" and "fake news" on Twitter, also said during the rally that Wexit isn't a campaign based on conservative politics.

The movement is neither left-wing or right-wing, according to Downing, who just this morning filed paperwork to get official party status for Wexit.

"It is for everybody," he said on Saturday. "Except for eastern Canada."

Lead photo by

Wexit Alberta

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