It’s been just over a week since the federal election and the reverberations are still being felt across the country.

In case you have not heard, many Albertans are not happy with the election results. And some are calling for separation of the province from the rest of Canada.

The movement even has a name – Wexit. That moniker has obviously been inspired by Brexit, the United Kingdom’s attempt to depart from the European Union.

So as a public service to those independence-seeking Albertans, we would like to offer some neighbourly advice.

First of all, Wexiteers, you definitely need a new name for your independence movement. Wexit just doesn’t inspire confidence. In order to gain majority support from the populace, any independence movement must appear to be logical and as non-disruptive an idea as possible. It’s a mistake to link Wexit to Brexit, which has still not been finally settled and has created deep divisions in British society.

Secondly, Wexiteers, don’t create scapegoats. Your attack on Newfoundlanders for electing six Liberal MPs to that province’s seven seats is unbecoming any honourable separatist. The idea that any other part of the country should put Alberta’s concerns above its own is just bizarre. Anyone who knows Newfoundland politics knows that the federal Liberals are better for that province than the federal Conservatives. Former Newfoundland premier Danny Williams – a Progressive Conservative, we should note – even launched an ABC campaign during the 2008 federal election. ABC stands for Anything But Conservative. Attacking Newfoundlanders is no way to win support and sympathy for your glorious cause from other parts of the country. It makes you look petty.

Thirdly, Wexiteers, you will obviously have to team up with other independence movements around the world and share notes. Your most obvious buddies would be Quebec separatists, since you both desire to leave the same country. They have been at this independence stuff a lot longer than you have. They would have a lot to teach you – maybe you can call Edmonton the national capital and refer to your provincial parks as national parks as a start down the road to independence. However, we’re not sure that sharing ideas with Quebec separatists will work, since the biggest cheer on election night at the Bloc Quebecois celebration was when its leader declared no pipeline would cross the territory of Quebec. Maybe you can get in touch with Catalan or Scottish separatists.

Fourthly, Wexiteers, you will have to draw up a good battle plan against the rest of the country to move your province towards separation. Canada has had a lot of experience with threats of separation, and it is still in one piece. Canada is a survivor.

And Canadians are formidable opponents when the unity and future of their country is at stake. There won’t be any invading armies, but expect advisory councils, public consultations, endless debate, soothing messages of goodwill and understanding, and perhaps even changes by the federal government.

If you’re not careful it will just relentlessly wear you down.

Wexiteers, you have your work cut out for you.

Paul Bickford

Paul Bickford is the reporter for Hay River Hub.

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  1. Love the tongue-in-cheek advice. However, about the second point: I’m pretty sure Albertans don’t give a fudge about looking petty or getting sympathy from the rest of Canada. They’re persuaded that ship already sailed on Oct 21 (or back in 1980 #NationalEnergyProgram).