Just how much of the sound will grow into political fury remains to be seen, but those who advocate taking Alberta out of Canada–what is being called Wexit Alberta–appear to believe the time has arrived–again–to press their case, especially after last month’s federal election that saw Justin Trudeau’s federal Liberals win not a single seat in the oil-rich province (as well as in neighbouring Saskatchewan).
Good relations between Alberta have ebbed and flowed over the years as many Albertans have long harboured fears the province is treated as a second-class citizen by the rest of Canada.
Which brings us to a high school gym in Calgary on Saturday night, where about 750 people gathered to hear Peter Downing, an advocate for western separatism, deliver a fired-up message.
“It’s not a left wing versus a right wing thing, The reality is that confederation does not work for western Canada,” Downing told the crowd.
“If the rest of Canada wants to have a constitutional convention to fix the problems, now is probably the time to do it.”
As Downing spoke, volunteers sold merchandise that included red baseball caps bearing the slogans, including “Make Alberta Great Again.”
Downing told the crowd he plans to run candidates federally under the name Wexit Canada and provincially in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.
“The establishment is scared when western Canadians stand up for their rights and aren’t going to be pushed around anymore,” Downing said.
“And the reality is this: it’s not about white supremacy, it’s not about any kind of race or religion…it’s about liberal supremacy.”
Saturday’s rally follows by two weeks a similar one in Edmonton.
Another is planned for Red Deer in two weeks.
That’s expected to be the last one in Alberta before Downing travels to other provinces to drum up support.
With files from CBC, CTV, Postmedia, CP