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

Trudeau win would fan Western separatist flames: Wexit founder

Wexit Alberta in Red Deer on Oct. 19 for a pair of meetings to talk about crime and economy

Western Canada separatist Peter Downing believes another Justin Trudeau win would ignite a Confederation-breaking movement.

“If Justin Trudeau gets in again our movement is going to explode overnight,” said the former soldier and ex-soldier behind Wexit Alberta.

Downing believes another Trudeau win see many supporters of other conservative parties, such as the Conservative Party and People’s Party of Canada federally, and United Conservative Party provincially, seek out a new banner to rally under.

“We recognize we’re Western Canadians. We’re hard-working, decent people who don’t take other people’s stuff,” said Downing, who is holding a pair of meetings in Red Deer on Oct. 19 to spread the message and hear from others who feel the West has been getting the shaft.

“We’re different than Eastern Canadians who are willing to basically vote for politicians to take our wealth away, to vote to kneecap our industry vote to de-industrialize our oil and gas sector. That’s what they get to do with their vote.”

Downing said Western Canada’s votes don’t matter. At Confederation, the country was set up to protect the interests of Ontario and Quebec, and little has changed since.

“This country is set up for Ontario and Quebec.”

Whether Trudeau wins a majority or not will not make much difference.

“Especially, if it becomes a minority government, with the NDP and Green Party having the balance of power, people in Alberta are going to feel the economic and political domination and they’re going to become more interested in politics.”

Wexit caught a lot of attention in February with Downing’s “Should Alberta Ditch Canada” digital billboard. The idea caught on with Saskatchewan separatists rolling out their own “Should Saskatchewan Leave Canada?” billboard message.

The Wexit movement, which began in Alberta but has ambitions to engage all Western provinces, has yet to form a political party and has no candidates in this election. But it’s close, said Downing, who believes they will be ready for the next election, even if the cycle is cut short by the fall of a minority government.

This is not the first time Downing has been to Red Deer. Last August, Wexit Alberta hosted a discussion as part of its “Can Confederation Be Fixed” tour in Red Deer. That event drew about 75 people, and given that an election is in full swing this time he expects more healthy turnouts.

Two meetings are taking place in Red Deer on Oct. 19. A town hall focused on safety and rural crime issues will run from 10 a.m. to noon at the Red Deer Titans Rugby clubhouse at 74 Waskasoo Ave. in Red Deer County.

The goal is to collect information from attendees to try to develop some real political solutions, he said.

At 1 p.m., the focus turns to the economy with representatives from a wide range of industries, agricultural, health, retail, finance and other sectors expected to share their views and develop proposals that could be part of a political platform.

Seating is limited to the free event. To RSVP, visit wexitevents.com.



pcowley@reddeeradvocate.com

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