When the issue of Canada’s national unity has come up in the past, it was always a problem with Quebec and their insistence on wanting to separate from the rest of Canada.
Since the debacle of the recent federal election, Western voters made it abundantly clear they don’t like Justin Trudeau and his Liberals, and as a result did not vote in a single Liberal in Saskatchewan or Alberta.
There has been a lot of talk since about the spectre of western separatism, and the rise of “Wexit” as people are just fed up with Trudeau altogether. The group is now moving to become a registered political party, and judging the amount of support they are getting, this may be a force to be reckoned with in the coming months.
Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe and Alberta’s Premier Jason Kenney have both brought up their own lists of priorities that Trudeau needs to pay attention to, but Kenney has added a new wrinkle.
He is proposing that Alberta remain in Canada, but have a measure of independence like Quebec has in certain areas. This could be viewed as a kind of compromise between people who would like that province to leave Confederation, and those who would like Canada to stay whole (which would probably be most Canadians, even most Westerners, if it came down to it).
What our leaders should be striving for instead is unity amongst all Canadians. We survived Quebec’s referendum, and have continued to survive other separatist calls by working together and finding ways to accommodate the regional interests of this great country.
At Weyburn’s Remembrance Day ceremonies, the keynote speaker, pastor Victoria Mwamasika, made a very relevant point as she called for unity in Canada. As she correctly pointed out, this is part of what our men and women in uniform fought and died for, along with our rights and freedoms which we all enjoy today.
We may be proud to be from the West, and from Saskatchewan, but above all, we should be proud to be Canadians, a land of great beauty, incredible resources (which is another discussion altogether) and amazing people, both our Indigenous peoples and those who are immigrants or descended from immigrants. We need to strive towards the goal of working together in spite of our regional and cultural differences, recognizing that we have a uniquely strong and beautiful country with freedoms and opportunities that many other countries wish they could have.