The self-appointed front man for this newest Western separatist launch (there have been others) is one Peter Downing, a Christian Heritage Party candidate. This Alberta-centered movement (Alberta First) has been in the making for several months now, banking on a publicized statement that if a Conservative majority government wasn’t elected, it would start fomenting a new separatist movement. This movement plays right into the hands of the mainstream establishment, which will use it to solidify their power through a fake call to nationalism, while vilify separatists as traitors.

Peter Downing appears to have a checkered past as an ex-RCMP constable who was criminally convicted with uttering threats in a case of spousal abuse. He was suspended for starting 2 bar fights while drunk, and was deemed by superiors to be an “unreliable” witness in Crown court cases. As a result, many prosecutions had to be thrown out by the Courts.

Let’s keep in mind that Alberta has had a majority of Conservative MP’s since the 1970’s and has largely been considered to be a Conservative province. This accounts for the resistance that National Citizens Alliance had in conducting Canadian Nationalist rallies in Edmonton from December 2108 until January 2019.

Conservative operatives were obviously very upset that NCA was doing what the Conservative Party MPs weren’t: opposing the United Nations and UN Migration Pact. Not only that, NCA Leader Stephen Garvey was exposing the corruption of the Conservative Party going back decades: first Brian Mulroney adopting UN Agenda 21 in 1992 and then Stephen Harper adopting UN Agenda 2030 in 2015 prior to the PM reins being handed to Justin Trudeau. For the record, the UN Migration Compact was a rider attached to UN Agenda 2030 due to be released in 2018.

NCA was the only political party in Canada exposing the collusion of the Conservative and Liberal parties, and the other mainstream parties, in selling Canada’s sovereignty out to the UN.

According to one independent investigator here:

“The Wexit group’s Alberta-branch is led by past Christian Heritage Party candidate Peter Downing, who is also the executive director of Alberta Fights Back, a third party political advertiser responsible for billboards that ask if Canada is headed for a civil war and a recent clash with Edmonton’s nude cyclist community.
Apparently inspired by BrexitGrexitAlbexit, and a long list of other “-exit” suffix terms that have entered our daily conversations over the past few years, Wexit (Western-exit, we assume) has been holding meetings across the province promoting an agenda for an independent Alberta to “enhance economic, military, and geo-political cooperation with the United States of America” and for a “head of state to be an elected President of Alberta with an appointed cabinet.”
The Wexit groups also have the support of some of Kenney’s former Ottawa colleagues, including former British Columbia Member of Parliament and former Jim Prentice confidant Jay Hill, who appears to have relaunched his political career as an advocate of Alberta separatism, and former Saskatchewan MP and MLA Allan Kerpan. Hill and Kerpan were the keynote speakers at a pro-separatist event held in Lloydminster on August 24, 2019.
Downing has announced his plans to run for the leadership of the Alberta Independence Party, which ran 63 candidates in the 2019 election and earned 0.7 per cent of the vote. In a post on Facebook, Downing wrote that he has spoken with Freedom Conservative Party president Stephen Burry about a merger of the two parties. The FCP was known as the Separation Party of Alberta and the Alberta First Party before former UCP MLA Derek Fildebrandt led it into the 2019 election to earn 0.5 per cent of the vote.”

In addition, there’s this:

“Our billboard and radio campaigns are designed to inform and encourage people in Alberta, frighten and enrage the rest of Canada, while pressuring politicians across the country to stop stealing the hard-earned income and economic opportunities that are rightfully ours. We want to put a smile on your face, even if comes from enjoying a guilty pleasure. More importantly, we want to achieve the type of political victory that keeps you working and keeps more of YOUR money in your pocket. I think that will make all of us smile, without any guilt.”

One of the main Wexit beefs is about provincial transfer payments to Quebec while the province of Alberta has a deficit of around $10 billion. However, they fail to mention that Alberta’s deficit was by design through subsequent Alberta governments.

As referenced in this Fraser Institute article

  • The government could have learned from the experiences of other provincial governments that reduced and reformed spending to eliminate large deficits—including the NDP government in Saskatchewan led by former Premier Roy Romanow during the 1990s. Instead, Alberta’s government took what had become the status quo approach, and continued to increase spending. Partly because of its policy choices, the province’s large deficits have persisted.
  • Alberta’s current per-capita spending levels are substantially higher than those in British Columbia, Ontario, and Quebec.
  • Were Alberta’s provincial government to reduce program spending by 10.9 percent from 2018/19 levels by 2021/22, it could eliminate the deficit one year ahead of schedule while also creating fiscal room for comprehensive pro-growth tax reform.

All those who are jumping on the separatist bandwagon seem to be acting as if that $10 billion will somehow translate into a personal dividend. They are also under the delusion that the Alberta economy is floating the rest of Canada.

This graphic from Stats. Can. shows a breakdown of Canada’s GDP that illustrates how this view is extremely distorted:

The second major beef appears to be Ottawa’s refusal to push through the TMX or Energy East pipelines.

Construction of the TMX pipeline began in August, however this seems to have been an inconvenient mention for not only Peter Downing, but Conservative leader Andrew Scheer, who was running on a campaign promise that he would get the pipelines built. In the meantime Liberal leader Justin Trudeau said nothing either until recently:

NCA has been at the forefront of exposing both Conservative and Liberal Party corruption, and the fact that there is really no difference between the goals, policies and platforms of both parties. And we’ve been accused by both sides of playing for the other side! We’ve also been accused of being white supremacists and immigrant populists at the same time too…

So who are the other players on the Wexit team?

There is former Reform Party MP Jay Hill who was elected in 1993 who was made a member of the Privy Council in 2006. He retired from government in 2011. He joined public relations/lobby firm New West Public Affairs in 2018 which is owned by a Conservative party cabinet colleague Monte Solberg.

New West Public Affairs bills itself:

“New West Public Affairs has a long standing relationship with Canada’s media in the markets that our clients care about. From writing press releases to managing an ongoing national news event, New West is working for you ensuring that you get the attention to launch your profile or we work to keep your profile out of the news if you prefer. Our staff write op-eds in newspapers and magazines to shape the public dialog around the issues that matter to you.

Finally, as mentioned, there’s former Reform Party MP and Sask. Party MLA Allan Kerpan who has been conducting town hall excursions throughout Saskatchewan trying to whip up support for the movement.

However not everyone is seeing the projected glory:

“However, Bobby Cameron, the chief of Saskatchewan’s Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations, which represents 74 First Nations in the province, said western separation is not going to happen as Treaty Rights are not bound by provincial law. 

“As far as the comments that have recently been made by Jason Kenney and our Premier Scott Moe, they have not reached out to us,” he said. 

“They can’t say that they’re going to separate, because the thousands of the Saskatchewan people that I’ve talked to have said: ‘not going to happen.’ We are not going to separate. So good luck, it’s not going to happen.” He said conversation around Western Canada have opened up a “can of worms” as First Nations in Saskatchewan own hundreds of thousands of acres of traditional land.”

NCA has always advocated for major changes to the transfer payment scheme to make it much fairer to Canadian provinces: “The National Citizens Alliance (NCA) believes that equalization payouts are detrimental to the provinces and Canada as a whole, by adding to the welfare, entitlement federal governance through handouts to less productive provinces, penalizing more productive provinces, and decreasing competition between provinces.”

Well, both major political beefs have been addressed and exposed for what they are and they don’t hold water. Stephen Harper added no new or substantial pipelines in Alberta during his leadership. Transfer payments followed the same formula. Alberta now has a Conservative provincial and federal roster, the TMX pipeline is being built and provincial deficits were entirely by design.

They have run out of factual justifications for this movement.

What are the obstacles? Very nicely summed up in this article by the National Post:

Read the obstacles stated here. It’s just not feasible.

In the meantime we at NCA have noticed the same keyboard warriors on social media jumping from various pop-culture bandwagons for nearly a year. The question is, do they recognize themselves?

The PPC billed itself as a Nationalist Party, however it was surely harbouring many separatists in its ranks.

The land in Alberta was purchased by the Dominion of Canada from the Hudson’s Bay Company. Alberta separatists will have to raise the money to buy it from the current Government of Canada that has negotiated royalties with the oil extraction companies that currently have licenses to operate in the Province. The “people” in Alberta are not signatories nor participants in these deals.

Why are separatist leaders misleading people that they have a personal financial interest in these dealings? It’s like a small number of employees suddenly claiming they own the store.

Overall, the Alberta separatist movement will only strengthen the entrenchment and corruption in Ottawa, because it will be an opportunity to promote a phony version of nationalism, while vilify the separatists as traitors. Therefore, is the separatist movement another way for establishment to retain power, and in the way Bernier harmed the populist movement by using it?

One of the major policy of items of NCA is to overcome the pandering to Quebec by using provincial GDP to determine the number of federal seats in each province. NCA believes that provinces that produce the most should have greater say in the Parliament. In such a scenario, Alberta would have nearly as many seats as Quebec, rather than less than half as it currently stands. This approach would go a long way to address provincial inequities.

Addendum: One Economist’s view of the transfer payment system as it affects Alberta.

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