Separatist WEXIT movement files for official federal party status

Nov 4 2019, 1:13 pm

WEXIT Canada has just filed for official party status with Election Canada.

The pro-secession movement had already been attempting to get MLAs into provincial politics throughout western Canada, though it wasn’t until this week that the organization made a move on the federal level.

Peter Downing, the leader of WEXIT Canada and WEXIT Alberta — the province with the largest following for the movement — announced on Facebook on Monday that paperwork has been filed to Elections Canada for official party status. The post also contained some dire warnings for the Conservative Party of Canada.

“Paperwork filed for Wexit Canada’s official party status. The Conservative Party of Canada is finished. Live under Trudeau or separate,” the post states.

“Conservative MPs in the West are welcome to be the very first Wexit MPs. Jason Kenney needs to become the very first president of Alberta.”

The aftermath of the federal election — during which not a single seat turned (or stayed) Liberal in all of Alberta and Saskatchewan — saw a flood of support for the idea of western Canada seceding from the confederacy of Canada.

The possibility of secession is nothing new in Canada, as Quebec came close back in 1995, when a referendum on Quebec sovereignty failed by a vote of just 49.42% to 50.58%.

However, following Quebec’s failed referendum, the Government of Canada enacted the Clarity Act, which states that it would be up to the House of Commons to determine “whether a proposed referendum question was sufficiently clear and whether a referendum result had been adopted by a sufficient majority,” according to University of Victoria Law Professor Jeremy Webber’s The Constitution of Canada, a Contextual Analysis.

No threshold was officially set specifying that the sufficient majority would need to be 50% plus one or some other, higher amount. Instead, the matter of what qualifies as a sufficient majority would be determined by the House of Commons following the referendum.

So while Alberta, and the rest of western Canada, could potentially hold and succeed in a referendum to secede from the confederacy, even a majority vote wouldn’t guarantee sovereignty.

When Quebec hosted their referendum in 1995 (the second in Quebec’s history, the first being in 1980) the Bloc Quebecois had 54 seats, becoming the official opposition to the Jean Chrétien-led Liberal government.

The 2019 election saw a resurgence for the party, taking 32 seats — a significant improvement over 2015’s 10 and 2011’s 4.

It appears that WEXIT is attempting to become Alberta’s own Bloc Quebecois — and, to a lesser extent, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and British Columbia’s — by fielding candidates for the next federal election who have only western Canada in mind.

Alberta is home to 34 of Canada’s 338 federal electoral districts, while Saskatchewan has 14, Manitoba has 14, for a total of 62 seats throughout the Prairies.

BC is home to 42 seats, though seems less inclined to join the WEXIT movement, as the WEXIT BC Facebook page currently boasts just under 7,500 members — in stark contrast to Alberta‘s 30,000, Saskatchewan‘s 24,000, and WEXIT Canada’s (officially “Vote WEXIT“) 263,000.