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Kenney shuts down separation talk as UCP MLA calls for us to look into leaving

Last Updated Oct 26, 2020 at 8:04 am MST

(PHOTO: Tom Ross - 660 NEWS)

CALGARY (660 NEWS) – Alberta’s Premier is shutting down talks of separation after a rural UCP MLA said the province needs to leave the nation should the Trudeau Liberals win another term.

In a blog post on his website, Cypress-Medicine Hat MLA, Drew Barnes said Alberta needs to move forward by becoming sovereign and not under Canadian rule, saying support for the Wexit movement has grown and it’s no longer a small group of people supporting the idea.

In the post, Barnes argues an independent Alberta would have the ninth highest GDP per capita in the world, ranking us with Singapore and Switzerland.

“Support for independence is no longer limited to a small fringe,” the post reads. “One-in-three speakers at the many Fair Deal townhall meetings that we heard, and many more of them that communicated with me through direct channels, said that they would fight for independence if a fair deal cannot be had.”

He added claims that Alberta independence would fail is wrong and that, unlike Quebec, our province’s sovereign movement is based on a drive for freedom and equality, and a strong financial footing.

“Ottawa never spends a dollar in Alberta that it didn’t take from Alberta first,” said Barnes. “While there will be heartfelt, honest disagreements about the path forward, I was elected to speak out and represent my constituents, their convictions, and our hope for the future.”

Premier Jason Kenney, however, rebuked that idea when asked about it at the party’s AGM over the weekend.

“I love Canada, even if I don’t like the policies of the current government. I believe the country is much bigger and more important than one bad government or than one bad set of policies.”

Kenney added that back in 2017, he signed the UCP founding documents which called for a united Canada.

While some polls show up to 40 per cent of Albertans either liking the idea of separation or willing to live with it, Kenney said he’s a proud Canadian and a patriot, unwilling to waver and consider seceding from the country.

It’s not the first time, Barnes has been in hot water over separatist comments.

In June, he penned an open letter to the Premier suggesting the idea of leaving Canada if Ottawa does not respond to the requests from the Fair Deal panel.

That letter was heavily scrutinized by the Opposition NDP who called on Kenney to remove any separatists from his party.