There’s been no end of headlines about western alienation and separation since the conservative lost the federal election. While the sentiment exists across the Prairies, Alberta is ground zero, and it’s Alberta premier, Jason Kenney, who has been chief among those fanning the flames.
Jason Kenney, who is quick to assure Canadians he’s an avowed federalist, often uses the “unity crisis” rallying cry to pivot to partisan politics.
In this Aug. 3 video posted to social media, before the federal election Kenney’s core message is clear: “Rather than focusing on Alberta separating from the Canadian federation, I’d like to focus on separating Justin Trudeau from the Prime Minister’s Office”.
The oil companies message
On the eve of the federal election, employees of a Calgary-based oil company were asked to share a chain letter with their loved ones warning Canada could be finished as a nation on Monday unless their CEO’s favourite political party wins the election.
CEO Grant Fagerheim urge workers to share an anonymous letter that warns of “Alberta separation” unless Canadians vote for Andrew Scheer’s Conservatives.
Jason Kenney 180 shift
As the election days draws near and all polls favours the conservatives winning the federal election, there was a perceptible shift, with Jason Kenney talking more about Alberta’s nation-building role and the province’s integral place within Confederation.
Immediately after the conservatives lost, Kenney was back to his old ways. Definitely, Kenney tone would have been different if the conservatives won.
Yes, Alberta has economic problems. Yes, Albertans are feeling the pain, right in the pocketbook. Since 2014, the oil industry’s challenges have rippled through the economy of the whole world.
Fostering a provincial nationalism and feeding a desire for Alberta separatism, or at least separateness, is not the answer.
WEXIT costing the Westerners
The rise of western Canadian separation movement or “Wexit” cost Calgary an opportunity to attract a major technology head office, said CEO Mary Moran of Calgary Economic Development during a speech.
We, as an organization, just lost a 1,000-person company that didn’t come to Calgary, selected another city, because they’re concerned about Wexit,” she said.
Many Alberta CEOs in agriculture, energy, finance and transportation sectors agree Alberta’s image now is that of a province with a struggling economy, a declining and outdated industry, a lack of innovation and a fascination with separation, said Adam Legge, president of the recently formed Business Council of Alberta.
Investors nor tourists are not attracted neither with the western sentiment. Albeit the populist dimension of western alienation can’t be ignored; it has to be acknowledged and addressed.”
Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister put up his banner on wexit by stating he has no time for the separatist sentiment that no one with any actual power is espousing.
“I don’t think you ever get anywhere building a stronger relationship by threatening to leave it,” Pallister told reporters, comparing Confederation to a marriage. “I think you have to work together. You have to overcome your difficulties.”
Conservatives care more about power, and being in power than they do about people. They will say anything, burn any bridge, create a wedge in the electorate solely for electoral gain. Power is a conceit that the average conservative cannot help. #cdnpoli #cdnmedia
— Neil Before Zod™ (@WaytowichNeil) November 28, 2019
Wexiters are conservatives new pawn for post election. They are flaming the ember for any chance any measure of frustration anger out there could be inflamed further and become politically explosive.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is a unifier, who has always find a way to work with others across the aisle irrespective of their affiliations. This is a big task and the Prime Minister has been setup to fail on this one but the golden boy always find a path to peace.