If campaigners in oil-rich Alberta and other western Canadian provinces get their way, North America could be getting a new country. The separatist movement in the region, which has been on-again, off-again for almost a century, has been experiencing a resurgence since Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's Liberal Party was narrowly re-elected last month despite not winning a single seat in Alberta or Saskatchewan. At a "Wexit" rally in Edmonton on Saturday, separatist leader Peter Downing wore a "Make Alberta Great Again" hat as he explained the movement to the CBC. He cited anger at carbon taxes and a "direct attack on western Canadian industry."
"We will not allow ourselves to be divided," Downing said. "We're going to make Alberta great again, and that is when we cut ourselves off from the leech that is eastern Canada." Downing, who said support for separatism had "exploded" since the election, said Wexit isn't purely a right-wing movement. "It is for everybody except for eastern Canada," he said. Around 750 people attended the rally, where a Canadian flag was hung upside down and supporters passed around petition forms to make Wexit Alberta an official political party, the Edmonton Journal reports. Downing has vowed to seek a Wexit referendum, which would have to be approved by Ottawa. (Read more Canada stories.)