Fort McMurray MP Weighs In On Wexit

Written By Guest User, Posted on December 10, 2019

The Member of Parliament for Fort McMurray-Cold Lake, David Yurdiga, was recently sworn in for his third term in office, where he will likely be dealing with the problems of western alienation and the cultural divide that has formed between eastern and western Canada.

The National Telegraph spoke to Mr. Yurdiga on western alienation and the Wexit movement, to better understand, as an elected official in Alberta serving in a federal capacity, what his feelings on the issue are. 

Q: What kind of political power will Wexit groups have in future elections?

A: Well it will be the job of the dominant federal parties to make the case that the Wexit Party’s goals do not serve the interests of Albertans. At the end of the day the voters will still decide Wexit’s legitimacy, and if they do there will be a referendum. 

Q: Is Wexit influential among other MPs or MLAs that you have talked to?

A: Most people I’ve talked to haven’t made their minds up about it, there is clearly an issue Wexit is trying to solve, but it is a new movement just trying to find its legs, so it will take time to see if Wexit has substantive popular support.

Q: Do you think Wexit will help the issue of western alienation?

A: Will it increase or decrease the feelings of Alienation in the West? The Wexit movement’s entire purpose is to galvanize western alienation. And it is working. I think the organizers of Wexit would completely agree with me on that.

Q: Do you think Western separation is realistic?

A: Honest people can argue all day about whether the West would be better off outside of the Confederation, but the simple fact is that separation is possible, and people are angry. Provincial and municipal governments already handle most of the services provided by any level of government. The transition to self-government would be rocky, but entirely possible.

Q: Do you think Wexit distracts from provincial recourse against the federal government?

A: Just like we’ve seen with Quebec, constantly threatening to separate, electing the Bloc Quebecois, pushing for multiple referendums, the federal government has historically responded positively to threats of separation.

Q: What positive impact can Wexit have on Canadian politics?

A: While the Wexit movement is undeniably bad for national unity, and Canada as a whole, it will put the Western Provinces in a stronger negotiating position.

Q: Do you think those behind Wexit would still want a separation even if Alberta is given a fair deal?

A: No, I don’t. The core of pro-Wexit public support is honest hardworking Canadians, who just feel left out of the decision-making process. Federal government policy is written in Eastern Canada to the benefit of Eastern Canada. If that went away, I think Wexit would too.

Q: What do you think Alberta should be doing in order to get a fair deal?

A: The core issue here is that Alberta is not dealing with Ottawa from a position of strength. Like Quebec, Alberta should consider its own solutions rather than rely on Ottawa to do things, like the current push for Alberta to replace the CPP. 

Q: Do you think Wexit gets the issue of western alienation wrong?

A: I don’t think Wexit gets anything wrong. The problem with the Wexit movement is that the rest of Canada isn’t taking it seriously. Wexit is a natural reaction to a deeply problematic situation created by the Liberal government with C-69, C-48, and the imposition of the federal carbon tax. If elected officials, specifically Liberals, NDP and Bloc Quebecois, cared more about the Canadian economy as a whole, Canada wouldn’t be importing huge amounts of oil from petty dictators in autocratic regimes. 

Q: How do you think groups like Wexit can better help to advocate on behalf of Alberta’s energy sector and reduce cultural barriers between the east and the west?

A: That question assumes that Wexit has any interest in cultural barriers. The fact is that the Wexit movement has breezed past any thought of national unity and jumped to separation proves that not to be true. Wexit is just the other side of the Liberal/NDP coin. The Liberals care about their vote-rich urban centers in the east, to the detriment of Alberta. Wexit cares only about western Canada. There is no meeting in the middle between these groups.

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