Wexit: How a political divide in Western Canada is driving calls for separation

by Nicole Bogart CTVNews.ca Writer @nlynnbogart | Contact

Wedged between the federal government’s climate policy and the politically driven oil-and-gas economy in the west lies a deep-seated regional divide that some believe has reached a breaking point.

As calls for a so-called “Wexit” began trending on social media, a newly re-elected Prime Minister Justin Trudeau took to the stage to acknowledge the frustration felt by voters in Saskatchewan and Alberta.

“To Canadians in Alberta and Saskatchewan, know that you are an essential part of our great country. I’ve heard your frustration and I want to be there to support you,” Trudeau said during his victory speech.

But the sentiment did not reach some Conservatives, including Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe, who renewed his calls for Trudeau to cancel the federal carbon tax, rework the equalization formula and build pipelines to reach international markets.

“There is a fire burning here in the Prairie Provinces… What I am doing is handing him a fire extinguisher and I’m asking him not to show up with a gas can,” Moe said Tuesday.

A quick glance at Canada’s new electoral map points towards a growing frustration in the western provinces.

Though the Liberals won a minority government in Monday night’s election, the party was shown the door in Alberta and Saskatchewan where the Conservatives picked up 47 out of 48 possible seats.

Most of that frustration can be linked back to Alberta’s oil industry, where tens of thousands of people have been laid off and pipeline projects remain up in the air. But experts say calls for western independence stem from far beyond the current state of the oil industry — it’s an issue that spans generations.

full story at https://election.ctvnews.ca/wexit-how-a-political-divide-in-western-canada-is-driving-calls-for-separation-1.4651085

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Categorised in: