Jay Hill, former House leader under Harper, named interim head of separatist party Wexit Canada
‘The West will never get a fair deal,’ from Ottawa, says veteran conservative
Veteran conservative politician Jay Hill has been named interim leader of the separatist Wexit Canada party, following the resignation of founder Peter Downing.
Hill — who served as MP for Prince George-Peace River in northern B.C. for 17 years, under three parties — has taken over until a new leader can be elected at its first convention, the party said Tuesday.
“I have been watching with great dismay the developments on the federal government scene and I’m very concerned about the direction the country’s going in,” Hill told CBC News.
“I came to realize that it will not matter to Western Canada who wins the Conservative leadership race and who forms the next government … because in the end, governments have to cater to the golden triangle of Toronto-Montreal-Ottawa and the West will never get a fair deal.”
Hill said the party’s short-term goal will be to build a strong base, and that the convention will have to wait until both enough members have signed up and pandemic restrictions allow for large groups to gather.
Hill said he hasn’t spoken recently with Downing but that his understanding is that Downing will be moving on to other projects and there will be a clear break between himself and the new board.
Downing told CBC News he will focus on fundraising and activism, and said Hill’s experience makes him the perfect person to lead the new party into its next chapter.
The party, which was granted federal eligibility by Elections Canada in January, plans to nominate 104 candidates to ridings in Alberta, British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.
Wexit also plans to run candidates at the provincial level in those provinces, but Hill said the federal party will not be affiliated with the provincial parties. The provincial Wexit Alberta party is holding a vote this week on whether to merge with the Freedom Conservative Party.
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