Should Canada split from Manitoba westward? Would it even work?
A new Facebook page called Vote Canada shared a suggested post that B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Yukon and the North West Territories unite in a secession from the rest of Canada. The newly united nation would be known as New Western Alliance.
Comments on the post range from a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to economic arguments for and against.
Secession is not a new topic for the province of B.C.
The pre-colonial lands that eventually became British Columbia were estimated to have about 50,000 Indigenous people living throughout when the Vancouver Island colony was created in 1849. Vancouver Island amalgamated with B.C. in 1866 and then joined Canada in 1871. However, B.C. threatened to secede shortly thereafter over delays to the national railway that was promised by Canada.
Later, during WAC Bennett’s 20-year premiership of B.C., 1952 to 1972, he threatened B.C. would secede over a dispute that was resolved with the Columbia River Treaty.
Currently, Robin Richardson of the Vancouver Island Party is seeking election in Nanaimo’s byelection for the MLA seat made vacant by Leonard Krog, who was voted in as Nanaimo’s mayor in the October general election. Richardson wants the Island to remain in Canada, however, believing it will be better represented in the House of Commons as its own province.
There are also multiple versions of a Cascadian secession movement in which B.C., Washington and Oregon unite as their own country. Variations include parts or all of Alberta, Idaho, Alaska and Montana.
Some Albertans have also flirted with the idea, including a number of candidates who ran for the Separation Party of Alberta in their 2004 provincial election.
Canada’s closest example of secession came in 1995 when Quebec nearly separated from Canada with a narrow 50.58 per cent vote in favour of remaining in Canada. Quebec also held a secession referendum in 1980 in which Quebec citizens voted 60 per cent to stay in Canada.
First Nations peoples, of course, have for generations cited that most of the lands are unceded.
What do you think, should B.C. consider inviting Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and the North West and Yukon territories to separate from Ontario, Canada’s biggest economic driver?