by Eric W.
Over the last couple of months, numerous media outlets have been interviewing separatist groups within Alberta and Saskatchewan trying to understand the cause behind the growing separation sentiment. Over the last year, these groups have doubled - or even tripled - in size of support, with discussion taking place throughout various social media channels. And the common thread throughout all channels is clear; Western alienation.
CityNews Edmonton's, Rachelle Elsiufi, recently interviewed one of the founders of the Alberta Independence Movement, Chris Glassford, about the growing concerns within their movement. Glassford expressed issues such as the Carbon Tax, Equalization Payments and the recent halt to the Trans-Mountain Pipeline as a few of the key issues that are resonating sharply among a majority of their supporters. However, these issues may contribute significantly towards the main driver of his separatist faction, they are not the only issues needing attention. Glassford believes Alberta is beyond the point of repair and puts it bluntly, "...We've had enough. Period. We've had enough. We're done." View the article here.
Another separatist group in Alberta, Western Separation Movement, lead by Larry Smith has also caught the attention of Alberta local news. For Smith, he believes Alberta needs out of Confederation, and commented that the federal government has manipulated Provincial-Federal jurisdiction over the recent debacle with the Trans-Mountain Pipeline - among many other issues. Smith states, "...he [PM Justin Trudeau] allowed a province to override the federal government" in a situation that was clearly within federal jursidiction. Smith went on to say that the future of Alberta, regardless of who is elected provincially or federally, will not change the outcome. Governments will always pander to the East and that the only effective option is separation. Smith also believes Saskatchewan will be right beside Alberta in a motion of separation. View the article here.
In Saskatchewan, Prairie Freedom Alliance has been gaining traction in public awareness and hit the front page of Regina's Leader-Post newspaper on September 17, 2018. The article published focused on understanding the stance of the upcoming provincial party and also how it has become the only true independence [separatist] party within Saskatchewan, as opposed to the Western Independence Party of Saskatchewan, where the party's leader, Neil Fenske, stated that they [W.I.P.S.K.] no longer support separation within their platform and are looking into a Party name change. Prairie Freedom Alliance's Public Relations Manager, Jake Wall, goes on to state, “Western Canadians are getting screwed over..." and believes that federal policies are at fault for leading to the break up of the country. Wall believes that it is time for Saskatchewan to adopt Saskatchewan-First policies, which the Prairie Freedom Alliance platform addresses in a wide-array, and include issues that appeal to all Saskatchewan citizens (on all sides of the political spectrum). View the article here.
Other popular political figures such as Jason Kenney and Jay Hill have also acknowledged the growing support for Western separation, which has drawn more media attention to the issue.
For now, one thing is certain, Ottawa does not plan on returning to its original role within Confederation anytime soon, and for that reason - which creates an endless list of new reasons - the support within these groups will continue to grow. At this point, the future of Canada, as a whole, is obscure.
CityNews Edmonton (Alberta Independence Movement): https://edmonton.citynews.ca/video/2018/09/06/were-better-off-alone-separation-talks-on-the-rise-in-alberta/
CityNews Edmonton (Western Separation Movement): https://edmonton.citynews.ca/video/2018/08/31/the-case-for-separation/
Regina Leader-Post (Prairie Freedom Alliance): https://leaderpost.com/news/saskatchewan/changing-of-the-guard-in-fight-for-saskatchewan-independence