James and Kerri Pothier made the 90-minute drive from Gadsby to take in the Wexit rally in Red Deer.
“My husband works in oil and gas, and obviously, the policies that have come out have been terrible,” said Kerri on Saturday.
“I’m interested in finding out about equal representation as far as elections are concerned, and a better deal as far as our payments to other provinces,” James added.
Hundreds attended the rally for the western separation movement, which took place at Westerner Park’s Prairie Pavillon.
Kerri said “in Alberta, the representation we’ve had has not been good.”
“Whether or not we even have the leaders to affect change right now is debatable. So we’re here to see what some alternatives are, and perhaps going it alone might be a better alternative than what we have currently,” she said.
“We pay outrageous taxes, and then there are other provinces with surpluses that still get our money.”
Wexit Canada leader Peter Downing said Red Deer is a great place to hold a rally.
“You have people from all trades, all industries, all walks of life,” he said.
“This is probably the best representation of Alberta, so we’re always happy to come here and make sure we’re speaking to issues that really affect folks in Red Deer and central Alberta.”
The event featured guest speakers discussing a variety of topics, including gun ownership, the economy, the health of soldiers and first responders, and the oil industry.
Alberta is in a “vulnerable” political situation, said Downing.
“Western Canada has always been seen as a colony of the East. The politicians see it that way and the people see it as something we own on a map.
“The reality is that this is the heart, this is the engine of the Canadian economy, and the modern life people enjoy is because of the hard work of Albertans and the western Canadian energy industry.
“To demonize that literally is hypocrisy and ignorance at the highest level,” he said.
There will be a rally at the legislature in Edmonton on Jan. 11 calling for the government to hold a referendum on separation, Downing added.
“We expect that to be a huge, massive (event), letting the governments provincially and federally know that we want a referendum on separation now,” he said.
There are two more Wexit rallies scheduled in Drayton Valley and Grande Prairie.