A blue wave took both Alberta and Saskatchewan during Monday night’s federal election. (Screenshot/Black Press Media)

#Wexit trending after election in support of western Canada separation

The hashtag is a play on Brexit from the U.K.

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.

READ ALSO: Should Canada’s western provinces split from the east?

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.

“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.”

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.”

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.

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.”

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.

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.

READ ALSO: ‘We’re ready for them:’ Texans see opportunity in western Canadian malaise


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