‘There’s no other way out except separation’: Flett

RED DEER – “There’s no other way out except separation,” Kathy Flett, Interim Leader Wexit Alberta, told a cheering crowd of about 600 at the Westerner Park in Red Deer Nov. 30.

As dissatisfaction with the federal Liberal government grows, Wexit events – organized by Peter Downing, Leader of the federal Wexit group – continue. Wexit applied for federal party status, which is now under review by Elections Canada. If successful, the group will run MP candidates in the next federal election. The group also formed a provincial Wexit party and plans to have candidates run as MLA’s in the next provincial election. 

Wexit is forming a provincial party as well, because, to separate, they said Alberta needs an MLA to take a referendum to the federal level.

Flett said Alberta is “literally broken” under the Canadian Constitution, which was updated in 1982 by former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau. 

“It tells me we are done, that Charter of Rights and Freedom frightens me and keeps me up at night.”

She said embedded in the Canadian Constitution is the Alberta Act that states Alberta will never have as many federal MP seats in the House of Commons as Quebec.

Embedded in the Canadian Constitution is the Alberta Act that states Alberta will never have as many federal MP seats in the House of Commons as Quebec. – Kathy Flett, Interim Leader Wexit Alberta Click To Tweet

“It’s impossible. It’s constitutionally impossible to do that.”

Kathy Flett, Interim Leader Wexit Alberta (Facebook)

In addition, she said the constitution has an equalization formula that benefits predominantly one province, Quebec, and the east will never willingly come to the table to negotiate with Alberta. 

“Do you think for one minute if we were to go to the table to talk about how to make things fair, do you think they are going to come and meet us? No, they are not. So constitutionally this can’t happen. I want it to.” 

Flett said we have already lost rights under the constitution such as the freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press, which she said no longer exists.

“My friends that is gone. We don’t have that anymore.”

She said the freedom of peaceful assembly is partly true today but added she is troubled that an elderly woman with a walker in Ontario was accosted by an Antifa supporter but there wasn’t a public uproar.

“Nothing came of it and it was brushed under the rug. That bothers me.”

Flett said the freedom of life, liberty and security is “out the window” pointing to what happened to an Alberta rural property owner who found someone rummaging in his property so he fired a warning shot and he ended up being arrested.

“Then our premier has to write legislation so he doesn’t go to jail. That should bother you.”

The right against illegal search and seizure was taken away when guns were seized by RCMP during flooding in High River, she said. 

“That scares me more than any other equalization payment we will make. That’s our fundamental rights and freedom being eroded.

“The battle we are facing has nothing to do with pipelines and carbon tax, that’s an exercise to erode our financial stability as well as our basic freedoms right with it.”

Flett said she searched for options to separation.

“I can’t find it. It doesn’t exist.”

The journey to separation, however, will be a bumpy road she warned.

“It’s going to get ugly. The lies and the slander are going to start and that’s OK. We are ready for that.”

It’s going to get ugly. The lies and the slander are going to start and that’s OK. We are ready for that.”

– Kathy Flett, Interim Leader Wexit Alberta

Flett, a small business owner in Sherwood Park, said Albertans have had a “nasty” four years economically. 

“We’re still hanging on but others haven’t.”

Flett said it’s important to remember that the west is fighting a broken eastern federal government structure and not the people of Eastern Canada. 

“Keep the people out.”

Flett vowed to fight for a better Alberta. 

“I will not stop until a new Alberta is born because I can see a country where we trust everything we see on the news.

“I will not stop until a new Alberta is born because I can see a country where we trust everything we see on the news." -Kathy Flett, Interim Leader Wexit Alberta Click To Tweet

“I see a country where our pension plan isn’t in danger. 

“I see a country where our industries aren’t pegged against each other, a country where our kids are no longer indoctrinated in the classroom but taught what is going on right now. 

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“I see a country where for the first time ever it no longer matters what the colour of your skin is or the language you speak – we are equal. Our rights and freedoms will be truly protected within that new Alberta. 

“That’s what I see and that’s what we are going to fight for.

Alberta is going to leave confederation. We are going to do this right and we are going to do this together. We only have one shot at this and we will make it happen.”

-Kathy Flett, Interim Leader Wexit Alberta

“Alberta is going to leave confederation,” she added. “We are going to do this right and we are going to do this together. We only have one shot at this and we will make it happen.”

Proposal: For every billion Alberta gives to east, province gets one more federal seat 

Former decorated Calgary Police officer and retired Canadian Armed Forces Lieutenant Colonel Tom Manley said he wants to give Canada “one more chance” and has a solution. 

Former decorated Calgary Police officer and retired Canadian Armed Forces Lieutenant Colonel Tom Manley (CNW)

“We have an imbalance between wealth and power. All of the power is in Laurentian Canada, Quebec, and Ontario, and over the last 70 years or so all of the wealth was here in the west and as long as that balance existed we were happy.

“They had their power but we didn’t care because we had wealth.

“We didn’t even mind sharing our wealth,” he added. “We transferred much of it to central Canada, Laurentian Canada, PEI, N.B. All of Canada enjoyed the benefit of our wealth and we didn’t mind.”

All of Canada enjoyed the benefit of our wealth and we didn’t mind.”

-Former decorated Calgary Police officer and retired Canadian Armed Forces Lieutenant Colonel Tom Manley

But Manley said two things happened to change that paradigm. The first was former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau who – through the National Energy Program – tried to take all of Alberta’s wealth and centralize it and dish it out to his friends, and Alberta “might” get some back. 

The National Energy Program failed but now we have Trudeau’s son, he said.

“Trudeau the younger, he wants to shut down the west’s ability to generate any ability at all. He wants to phase out the oilsands and destroy our ability to create wealth.”

Manley said when we don’t have wealth or power it’s tyranny.

When we don’t have wealth or power it’s tyranny. –Former decorated Calgary Police officer and retired Canadian Armed Forces Lieutenant Colonel Tom Manley Click To Tweet

And having served overseas, tyranny is something Manley understands. During his service, Manley developed successful strategic and operational plans for four overseas operations and performed domestic and international close protection for highest-level senior military officers. Manley was also a leadership instructor at the Army Battle School and Army Combat Training Centre and received the Canadian Decoration, the Peacekeeping Medal, and two medals for overseas missions.

“Terrorism happens because wealth and power fall into an imbalance. I served in the army for 26 years and did multiple tours overseas. I have seen what happens when countries are torn apart. I do not want that for this country. That’s not acceptable to me and it’s not acceptable that the central government of this country throw this country into an imbalance that we are faced with the possibility of our country torn apart.”

Manley said Yves-François Blanchet, Leader of the Bloc Québécois said Alberta has no one to blame but itself for the economic crisis because the province didn’t diversify. He added that Alberta should have tried to diversify but he also had a message for Blanchet.

“Perhaps you should have diversified your economy off of our transfer payments. You sure get a hell lot of that from our oil. 

“Perhaps you should have diversified your economy off of our transfer payments. You sure get a hell lot of that from our oil." Message from former decorated Calgary Police officer & retired Canadian Armed Forces Lt. Colonel Tom… Click To Tweet

“When Alberta separates we will still have our oil Mr. Blanchet but you sure as hell won’t have our transfer payments.”

When Alberta separates we will still have our oil Mr. Blanchet but you sure as hell won’t have our transfer payments.”

-Former decorated Calgary Police officer and retired Canadian Armed Forces Lieutenant Colonel Tom Manley

And Manley also had a strong message for B.C.

“If you won’t let us ship through your land you sure as hell won’t ship through our land.” 

When B.C. is trying to transport the shipments at its docks from China destined for Ontario Walmart and they are stopped by Alberta “Mr. Horgan you will be building pipelines faster than you can imagine,” said Manley.

“I love my country and I think everyone in this room does as well. I want our country in a perfect world to stay together but I also want Alberta’s voice to matter.”

He added that it’s not about pipelines, it’s about wealth and power. 

“We want the power to steer our own destiny. We don’t want our lives dictated to us by (area code) 905. The 905 and Montreal have more seats in the house than Alberta and Saskatchewan combined. It is wrong. Two cities in this country have more power than two provinces combined. Two cities where they are concerned about gun violence because they have gangs running around their streets and they want to dictate rules to us that don’t make any sense to rural Albertans. That’s wrong.”

To remedy the western alienation, Manley says he proposes what he called an elegant solution.

“For every one billion dollars we put in transfer payments we get one extra seat in the House of Commons. And for every one billion, we take we have to give up one seat in the House of Commons. 

“Pollution shouldn’t be free. Well money shouldn’t be free. Our money shouldn’t be free. If you want our money you have to give up a seat in the House of Commons. We would go from 34 seats in Alberta to 54.

“I believe the only way that we are going to save this great nation is if we reestablish a balance of power between the east and west,” added Manley. “The only way we can do that is to elect separatist people to the House of Commons, just like Quebec has done, and elect a separatist party to run the province, just like Quebec has done.”

The only way we can (save Canada) is to elect separatist people to the House of Commons, just like Quebec has done, and elect a separatist party to run the province, just like Quebec has done.”

-Former decorated Calgary Police officer and retired Canadian Armed Forces Lieutenant Colonel Tom Manley

Target criminals not law-abiding citizens: Brown

Todd Brown, Executive Director for Firearms Institute for Rational Education, said the federal firearms act needs to be abolished because it’s an act that allows for the confiscation of all firearms.

“Trudeau said he is going to take our guns away and he can do it. The only way to keep that is getting rid of the firearms act.”

Brown said legislation should target criminals and not law-abiding citizens.

“The ability to own firearms is a huge building block in a free society.”

Brown said there is a database with all the names of legal firearms owners in it and each day each person is searched. 

“The continuous screening program looks at each of you every single day. Turn that on the criminals.”

A crowd of about 600 in Red Deer for the Wexit meeting Nov. 30 (What’s Up Canada photo)

This downturn isn’t a normal cycle: Realtor

Mark Meincke, a former soldier and current realtor who plans to be a federal Wexit candidate for Okotoks, said Alberta’s downturn isn’t a normal cycle.

“This is not a normal cycle. This is a direct result of policies from Ottawa, policies that only help our competitors.”

Mark Meincke, a former soldier and current Okotoks realtor

Meincke said housing values have plummeted. 

 “Everyone here has lost equity in their home. That’s your retirement plan and it’s not bouncing back any time soon no matter what we do.”

He said it’s not just the oil and gas industry being affected but all trades and the agricultural sector. 

Farmers are not used to their own dam government screwing up so bad they can’t maintain trade relationships with our international trade partners.”

Mark Meincke, a former soldier and current Okotoks realtor

“Farmers are not used to their own dam government screwing up so bad they can’t maintain trade relationships with our international trade partners. We are getting screwed by our own government and that is not OK.”

Meincke said under Kathleen Wynne’s Ontario, people had to choose between heating their home or feeding their children.

“In Alberta, things are going in the same direction.”

He said it doesn’t matter if you’re in the public sector or private sector, “everyone is up against it right now, not because of global markets but because Ottawa is getting in our way.”

The crowd applauded when he said, “All we want is for them to bugger off and we will be just fine.”

He accused Ottawa of stealing Alberta’s wealth and blocking the province from any meaningful way to make its own decisions.

“Confederation was built broken. We were never meant to have a voice. We are so underrepresented in the Senate and in the House (of Commons). Votes here are way less than in Ontario so how is that OK? Each vote has 17 per cent more weight to it in the east. Are we 17 per cent less important than someone in Ontario?”

Confederation was built broken. We were never meant to have a voice. – Mark Meincke, a former soldier and current Okotoks realtor Click To Tweet

Make Alberta Great Again

Sam Bell, 24, just graduated with a business degree in the U.S. He grew up in Alberta and relied on the oil industry to pay his way through university.

“Every summer I came home to work pipeline construction to pay for that.”

But he said jobs are now harder and harder to come by. 

“The government is making life harder, costing us jobs, money, and freedom.”

Bell said the Wexit movement is often accused of being a right-wing Trump-style movement, adding that “in many ways, frankly it is.”

But he said what people fail to understand is that the Trump movement wasn’t about the man.  

“What the media and elite don’t understand is it’s not about Trump the man, it’s what he represents. It’s about working people like you and me that want good jobs. We want control of our lives and we want freedom.”

Federal government ‘hostile to the west’

“We have a federal government that is hostile to us,” said Wexit Canada Leader Peter Downing. “We have a government that said they are going to shut down the oilsands.”

Downing, a former soldier and RCMP member, slammed the mainstream media “funded by Justin Trudeau” for a recent story saying Calgary lost a 1,000 job tech company because of the uncertainty Wexit is creating. 

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“How do you feel about paying your money to have the media talk negatively about you?” he asked the crowd. “The reality of the situation is even in one per cent of the oil workers out of work decided to work in a high tech firm and were lucky enough, that would still leave 99 per cent out in the cold out of work. We stand behind 100 per cent of our oilfield workers.”

Future Wexit rallies are planned in Drayton Valley and Lethbridge. 

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CRISIS IN ALBERTA

READ MORE: ‘Obviously, there is real anxiety and real frustration out in Alberta from people who have been having a really tough go’: Trudeau

READ MORE: Alberta creating panel to study actions to give province more independence

WATCH: Most pressing issue after federal election is status of Alberta: Rex Murphy interviews Premier Kenney

READ MORE: Alberta contributes $240B to Canada in transfer payments, takes nothing in payments

READ MORE: Bernier tells Albertans to find allies in Quebec and elsewhere to bring about change at federal level

READ MORE: Alberta’s finance minister meets with federal finance minister, asks for immediate $1.7B equalization rebate

READ MORE: Alberta is facing a full-blown economic crisis and it needs support, not condescension

READ MORE: CAODC calls on federal government to take action after dismal 2020 drilling forecast

READ MORE: Calgary-based Houston Oil and Gas ceases operations, files bankruptcy

READ MORE: Higher increase of bankruptcies in Alberta than any other province

READ MORE: No production limits for new oil wells to help create jobs, says Alberta government

READ MORE: Texas-based BJ Services pulling out of Red Deer

WEB POLL: Should Alberta separate from Canada?

LETTERS: Professor writes critical ‘Open Letter’ to teen climate activist Greta Thunberg

Alberta Press staff

-reporter@albertapressleader.ca

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