What is Wexit?

Photo by Kym MacKinnon on Unsplash

Following the results of the Canadian federal election, an independentist movement surfaced: the Wexit. Inspired by the name Brexit, this movement is requesting the separation of Western Canada but is more active in Alberta. Why does Alberta want to separate themselves from the rest of Canada?

An under-represented political culture

Federal election results show a strong difference between Western Canada and the rest of the country. The majority of Western Canada (except for British Columbia), Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba elected the Conservative Party. These are the only provinces that voted for the Conservatives, unlike the rest of the country, which voted for left-wing parties. This political distinction fueled gas on the fire, and since then the Wexit movement has surfaced in Alberta.

The Canadian economy on its shoulders

Equalization is a federal tax-transfer system. It balances wealth within the provinces through taxes. For people who support Wexit, this system is unequal. In 2018, Alberta did not receive equalization benefits, while it was one of the provinces that contributed the most. Thus, Alberta receives the least returns but gives the most. Besides, Western Canada contributes over 38% of Canada’s GDP (Gross Domestic Product). An independent Albertan economy could have serious repercussions for the rest of Canada because this province carries Canada’s economy on its shoulders.

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