Shortly after Monday’s election ended and the Liberals took a minority government, a hashtag in favour of the western provinces separating started to trend.
#Wexit (western exit) is a play on Brexit from across the pond and is trending on Twitter. According to a post from a member of the VoteWexit.com Facebook group, the group gained more than 45,000 new members in two hours on election night.
With the exception of one riding in Alberta that swung towards the New Democrats – Edmonton Strathcona – the province was swept over with a sea of blue. The Conservative party took every riding in Saskatchewan as well and in Manitoba, made headway with the same number of seats as Liberals and the NDP combined. There were no Liberals elected in Alberta or Saskatchewan.
In B.C., Conservatives gained some ground and hold the most seats in the province followed by a tie between the NDP and Liberals.
A Change.org petition in favour of Alberta separation that was created Monday night had close to 28,000 signatures as of Tuesday afternoon and a Wexit Alberta web page seeking signatures to form a party in the province is online as well.
Twitter users took to their accounts to talk about #Wexit and the hashtag was also trending on Tuesday afternoon.
Last night was very clear
Canada is broken
Today Oct 22 the clock starts for Alberta Separation, we have a short window to fix Alberta
— Alberta Separation (@albertaseparate) October 22, 2019
“When one part of Canada votes to destroy another, we don’t have a country,” said Twitter user @JodyDahrouge. “The time has come to go our separate ways.”
Last night Canadians voted overwhelmingly to shut down the main Resource Industries of AB/SK. Those in AB/SK voted for survival. When one part of Canada votes to destroy another, we don't have a country.
— Jody Dahrouge (@JodyDahrouge) October 22, 2019
While Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe did not tweet about separation, he did tweet out a statement calling for “a new deal with Canada” and noting the “sense of frustration and alienation in Saskatchewan.”
After last night's federal election, it is clear we need a New Deal with Canada. Read my statement here: pic.twitter.com/DsemIHN3qR
— Scott Moe (@PremierScottMoe) October 22, 2019
Other Twitter users took to their accounts with the hashtag to say they do not support a Western separatist movement.
“You’re spitting on the graves and memories of our fallen soldiers,” said Twitter user @DonoYEG.
Good morning Alberta.
If you support #wexit, inflame separatist sentiment, or see it as a political tool then you’re spitting on the graves and memories of our fallen soldiers. In addition, you’re a traitor.
— Dónal O‘Beirne (@DonoYEG) October 22, 2019
Another Twitter user pointed out some of the issues with Brexit and shared a tweet from Andrew Scheer from 2017 in which he says he was “pro-Brexit before it was cool.”
The rest of the world: “wow, this #Brexit thing is a huge mess that has dragged on for years, caused economic unrest and resulted in lots of unplanned outcomes with no easy end in sight, eh?”
Alberta: “let’s do our own and call it #wexit – yeah!!”
— michelle somethingorother (@anotherhuman86) October 22, 2019
Many were also quick to point out that the land these provinces are on has been home to Indigenous communities far before Canada became a country.
“It’s not your land. It’s Indigenous land. It’s not yours to take,” one Twitter user commented.
— Torrance Coste (@TorranceCoste) October 22, 2019
You can’t separate from a colonial state with land that doesn’t belong to you. #wexit
— Terrill Tailfeathers (@Terrilltf) October 22, 2019
This is not the first time the idea that western provinces should separate has floated around the internet. In December 2018, a Facebook page called Vote Canada shared a post stating that B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Yukon and the Northwest Territories should unit to for a new nation called the New Western Alliance. A number of candidates also ran for the Separation Party of Alberta in their 2004 provincial election.