Maybe we shouldn’t be worried about the so-called Wexit movement.
Maybe we should be cheering it on?
Hear me out. What if Wexit is the best thing that could happen to those of us in the rest of Canada?
First of all, I have to say that I don’t think the Wexit group (which is now trying to create an actual political party) is going to amount to much. In the real world, there are only two possible outcomes for a Wexit Party:
1) The Wexit Party fails to attract significant support, and its candidates get between 3.5 and 0.5 per cent of the vote across various western ridings in the next federal election or;
2) The Wexit Party is a success, it grabs a handful of seats, and it splits the vote with the Conservatives so badly that the Liberals elect more members in Edmonton and Saskatoon and return to Ottawa with a majority next time.
But maybe those of us in B.C. and Ontario and Quebec and the Maritimes should encourage Alberta, Saskatchewan, maybe Manitoba to go their own way?
Surely they’d be happier. They’d be able to drill and mine to their heart’s content.
I mean, they’re going to run into a couple of problems, obviously.
First of all, your typical Wexit supporter really, really hates PM Justin Trudeau. That’s fine, he’s a blackface-wearing, promise-breaking, scandal-plagued, self-important dip (the left and right in this country agree on some things!) but he is still PM.
And if Alberta and Saskatchewan secede from Canada, Trudeau, or some other Liberal prime minister, is likely to be prime minister basically forever.
With a smaller House of Commons, absent the most reliably Conservative parts of the country, the Liberals romp to win after win. The rump Conservative party might be able to reconstitute itself and move a tick or two to the center, but it’s going to be tough sledding.
So if the Natural Governing Party has the national government firmly in hand, why should they finish that pipeline expansion, exactly?
If Trans Mountain is complete by the time Wexit takes place, oil already flowing, what’s to stop Canada from demanding a fee for transporting it through British Columbia?
Or just holding it up altogether, tearing up the pipeline?
After all, that would play better with the folks who are left in the Rest of Canada, having had the folks who are most in favour of the pipeline surgically removed.
And then there’s the oil hangover to consider.
Alberta is already facing a hefty bill to clean up abandoned oil wells. Every time another small producer goes bust, the province shoulders more future debt to clean up the mess.
If the province goes too far into the red, that bill will have to be paid, in part, by Ottawa – meaning us.
Maybe 20 or 30 years of Wexit wouldn’t be bad. We can consider letting them back in around 2050.