Peter Downing, Wexit Alberta founder, speaks to the dozens who attended a discussion at the Collicutt Centre in Red Deer Saturday afternoon. Photo by SEAN MCINTOSH/Advocate staff

Alberta separation group holds discussion in Red Deer

Alberta “cannot and will not live through another four years of a Justin Trudeau government,” says the founder of a group seeking the province’s sovereignty.

Wexit Alberta hosted a discussion as part of its “Can Confederation Be Fixed” tour at the Collicutt Centre in Red Deer on Saturday.

“We know the strain the Alberta economy has come into with the low oil prices. We’ve been doubly and triply kicked while we’re down, with crippling regulation over taxation, carbon taxation, Bill C-69, Bill C-48,” said Wexit Alberta founder Peter Downing.

The political and economic interests of Alberta are completely opposed to the interests of Ontario and Quebec, he said.

“Ontario has 121 seats in federal Parliament, Quebec has 78, and in Alberta, we have 34. We could’ve elected a full slate of conservatives three times and Canada would have still voted in 12 more liberals.

“There are people and entities in Eastern Canada that are willing to take our money and not give us anything in return.”

Toronto has 35 seats and Montreal has 10 in Parliament, he added.

“Those two cities alone outvote all of Alberta and we have to live with the decisions they make. If they just vote to take our stuff, there’s nothing we can do other than separation.

“If Justin Trudeau gets re-elected, you’re going to see a surge of separatist sentiment from those conservatives who are saying, ‘We want to give Andrew Scheer a shot.’”

Downing, a former member of the RCMP and Canadian Forces, said Alberta is facing many issues.

“Homeownership is something that’s far away for many Albertans. Enough is enough.

“We don’t have the ability right now to invest in our post-secondary education. In Quebec, for instance, they heavily subsidize. Our students are coming up to their eyeballs in debt and aren’t able to pay it off for sometimes decades.”

Downing said he was “overwhelmed” by the positive response Wexit Alberta received in Red Deer and Calgary, where a discussion was held Saturday morning.

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