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JAY HILL: Timeline for Western Independence

Edmonton and Regina should both be debating referenda legislation right now, and that the timeline for holding the vote should be in conjunction with the next Saskatchewan provincial election in a year.

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Perhaps I’ve been wrong. I know, I know, I was in a bit of shock when I first considered the possibility too.

I wasn’t wrong about reluctantly coming to the realization that the West separating from the ROC (Rest of Canada) is the only sensible option remaining, just perhaps wrong about the timeline and process to achieve independence.

Like so many prairie westerners, as I watched the televised election results on Monday, October 21stroll across the screen, my emotions went from disappointment to dismay to anger and finally to resignation.  

Resignation and sadness that the country I loved no longer worked for me. Realization that the East, especially the “Middle East” of Ontario and Quebec, would never understand the West, or even make much effort to understand it.

Perhaps this realization was more front-of-mind because in partnership with my good friend, Dave Rutherford and our producers (wives), over the past year we recorded over 50 episodes of our You Tube blog “The Dave and Jay Show.”  Most episodes attempted to inform Canadians of the harm Justin Trudeau and his Liberal government was inflicting on Canada, in particular Western Canada. 

But it was more than just disbelief that so many voters east of Manitoba chose to re-elect a Prime Minister that has proven to be so blackfaced, arrogant, shallow, ethically challenged and narcissistic.

It was also the realization that the political structure of Canada ensures that regardless of who wins, nothing will ever fundamentally change when it comes to regional fairness. Political success at the polls requires that all parties and their leaders make concessions to the Middle East of Canada, where the majority of seats are (199 of 338) and where far too many don’t care and aren’t willing to listen to the concerns of the West. That believe we’re just whiners, and we’ll “get over it” …again.

So naturally with this realization that’s been developing for some time, once the goal of independence became fixed in my mind, I simply wanted to get on with it!  Understandable, right?

Due to my experience as an early Reformer and the difficulty of building a new political party from scratch, I do not believe that is the most expedient path towards achieving the goal.  I have refrained from becoming a member WEXIT, the Alberta First Party, Western Canada Party, Western Independence Party, Freedom Conservative Party of Alberta (can you see a potential problem developing?) or any other entity seeking to form a separatist party.

Source: Facebook

Additionally, I have always felt that in the past lack of sound leadership was the undoing of Western independence parties. In other words, they were prone towards self-destruction. I am a huge supporter of both Premier Jason Kenney here in Alberta, and his partner, Premier Scott Moe in Saskatchewan. They are both doing a terrific job of representing their citizens, so it makes no sense to run someone against them.

Had Andrew Scheer won, I believe he deserved the opportunity to prove himself. Likewise, I am prepared to defend Kenney and Moe and also give them the opportunity to try to save Canada.

So, this is where I’ve perhaps been wrong to want to rush ahead with a referendum before allowing them both a chance to fix confederation. I don’t really believe it can be fixed, and in particular, I don’t believe Justin Trudeau gives a damn. 

Nevertheless, I also believe that if there is even the remotest chance Trudeau and indeed Canadians east of Manitoba will take our concerns seriously, it will only be because they come to believe Westerners are serious about seeking a divorce.

And that is why I believe the legislatures in Edmonton and Regina should both be debating referenda legislation right now, and that the timeline for holding the vote should be in conjunction with the next Saskatchewan provincial election in a year. 

A year should be more than enough time for Trudeau to take action on renegotiating the equalization formula, scrapping his carbon tax, building the TMX pipeline, amending Bill C-69 and other steps the Premiers are seeking to address the fires of disunity he’s fueled across the prairies. 

Like Quebec, these steps to achieve greater autonomy under confederation would give us greater control of our own destiny.  My suggestion is that, if there has been no or little progress on these issues by next summer, Westerners should proceed with a public debate followed by provincial referendums in the fall. Then Prairie Westerners can decide their own future.   

Hon. Jay Hill, is a frequent guest columnist for the Western Standard and the Interim Leader of the Wexit Canada Party. He was the Member of Parliament for Prince George – Peace River for 17 years, held the position of Whip of his party four times, and served twice as House Leader.

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5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Greg Auld

    October 31, 2019 at 8:52 pm

    Agree with everything you say, Jay. here’s a thought. Why don’t we start a Western Canadian Federal party (if Quebec can do it, we can). 62 federal seats in Mb, Sk, Ab. with another 7 seats, i believe, in NW Ont and Eastern BC. Seeing as we will probably NEVER see another majority Conservative party, we would hold a lot of power in Parliament if we received 60% of those seats.. I am not a political genius so someone, please tell me what is wrong with this idea?

  2. Dale Markham

    October 28, 2019 at 7:06 pm

    True Jay but we haven’t been a confederacy on equal terms for quite some time , this movement has to continue , its seems that you need to holler to heard. Most people I know are tired of the election being over before the west have closed our polling stations

    • JAY HILL

      October 29, 2019 at 2:48 pm

      Agree. Canadians in our “Middle East” will never take us seriously until the threat of a referendum on separatism is REAL. Only then, as in 1995 with Quebec, will the thought of Canada’s breakup become “front-of-mind”.

  3. Cliff Burkard

    October 28, 2019 at 12:29 pm

    Agree with you Jay. First step – autonomy from ROC. If that doesn’t work – independence. As you say, whomever gets in power be it Liberals, Conservatives, NDP or Green all must kowtow to “ Middle East “ of Canada. Centralized power does not work, each province is unique as are the Territories. What works for one does not work for all. The “ firewall “ our Hon. Stephen Harper and others suggested in 2001 would be an excellent way to start as well as those you suggested.

    • JAY HILL

      October 29, 2019 at 2:45 pm

      100% agree Cliff Burkard.

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Opinion

SLOBODIAN: Another blackface photo shows Trudeau the hypocrite

Do Canadians really want to again hand power to someone who relentlessly points a false accusing finger at them to achieve his sinister agenda but didn’t have the moral character to know blackface is a bad thing – until he got caught.

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Yet another photo of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in blackface emerged on the eve of today’s federal election.

He appears to be having a fantastic time all dressed up in a fancy Arabian costume with a crazed look in his eyes, tongue hanging out to his chin, cozied up to some guy.

It’s just more evidence (as if we even need more) that something is really, very wrong with that man who yearns to lead a 2021 majority government — both morally and in his ability to exercise good judgement. 

But there’s something else about the photo that’s telling. Two men behind him are wearing tuxedos. Their tongues are tucked in their mouths where they belong. Unlike Trudeau, they look normal, dignified, like they know how to behave out in public, like they don’t disrespect black people. 

Obviously, dressing up in this offensive manner wasn’t mandatory to attend the soiree. And obviously, Trudeau didn’t care. He was having such fun mocking a racial minority he now claims to be deeply concerned about.

Apparently, this photo was taken at an Arabian Nights-themed event held in the spring of 2001. Multiple photos of Trudeau in blackface have emerged in the past from this event and others. 

Oh, he has apologized profusely being “deeply sorry” for the bad behaviour he so passionately seemed to enjoy. But no, he never could remember how many times he behaved in this childish, offensive, racist manner.

Trudeau wasn’t some dumb, naive kid. He was a dumb, insensitive, arrogant gown man, a teacher pushing 30 who made sport of a racial minority.

And then, four years shy of 50, in 2018, he got all dressed up again, humiliated Canada and was ruthlessly mocked on the world stage when he traipsed through India, hands clasped in prayer or whatever, in blinding colourful, inappropriate Bollywood costumes.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in India

Of course, the timing of this latest blackface photo was leaked with the intent to inflict the most damage to Trudeau as Canadians head to the polls.

Good! Too many Canadians are still blinded to his incompetence, to the disastrous path he’s leading Canada down, to his hypocrisy.

He plays Canadians like a fiddle, never missing an opportunity to create division and shed fake tears while preaching advocacy for equality and inclusion.

Trudeau can’t stop telling Canadians how racist they are. He shamelessly panders to the black community that his blackface antics insulted.

When protests lit U.S. cities on fire after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, instead of pointing out accusations of widespread police brutality were inflated, Trudeau jumped on the bandwagon declaring anti-black racism is alive in Canada.

He neglected to mention he was largely speaking from personal experience.

“We need to do better in Canada. Even though we’ve made strides forward in the fight against racism and discrimination, racism still exists in Canada. To young, black Canadians, I hear you when you say you are anxious and angry.”

The problem is statistics didn’t support his claims. And they still don’t. In fact, Trudeau neglected to note that the largest targeted group on the receiving end of hate crimes in Canada is the Jewish community.

Trudeau is using racism as a pretense to assault the right of Canadians to freedom of expression. If he gets his majority, Bill C-36 — an anti-hate propaganda and hate crime bill — will sail through. He tries to sell it as means combat online hate, which he vaguely defines. It is a dangerous tool to shut up whoever Trudeau and his minions disagree with or don’t like.

Someone merely fearing another person may commit a hate propaganda offence or hate crime can anonymously have their target hauled before a judge to potentially lose their freedom or face financial ruin.

Do Canadians really want to again hand power to someone who relentlessly points a false accusing finger at them to achieve his sinister agenda but didn’t have the moral character to know blackface is a bad thing — until he got caught?

How many passes is this power-hungry, divisive, costume-wearing fraud going to get? 

Slobodian is the Senior Manitoba Columnist for the Western Standard
lslobodian@westernstandardonline.com

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Opinion

FILDEBRANDT: While the big parties have never agreed on more, Canadians have never agreed on less

“The Great Canadian Consensus of 2021 is a mirage however. The old parties may agree, but Canadians do not.”

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Canada has had divisive elections before, but those elections typically had something to be divisive about: free trade (1988), conscription (1917), etcetera.

But if we’re going to lump 2021 into the club of particularly divisive elections, it would be difficult to add any text before the bracket. That is, I don’t know what this election was about, at least as far the the big parties go.

Certainly COVID-19 and how government should handle it has been discussed a lot, but with the exception of Maxime Bernier and his PPC, the major parties have been in remarkable consensus on all of the big issues.

The five older parties all agree with rotating lockdowns and a forced vaccine passport, with minor variations at the margin.

The five major parties all agree with perpetual deficit spending, although O’Toole’s Conservatives promise some day far into the distant future that the budget will balance itself.

The five major parties all agree with a large carbon tax on both industry and consumers.

All five major parties agree that equalization is working just fine and the West should keep paying, although O’Toole says the West deserves a little respect for its contributions.

The major difference between the five major parties mostly boils down to: “We can do what the other guys promise to do better.”

The Great Canadian Consensus of 2021 is a mirage however. The old parties may agree, but Canadians do not.

Roughly half of Canadians oppose a carbon tax, but 100% of the parties in Parliament support one.

Most conservatives support a serious timeline to balance the budget, but none of the parties in Parliament do.

The overwhelming majority of Westerners — and especially Albertans — want to either reform or abolish equalization, but not a single party in Parliament wants to even discuss it.

A clear majority of Canadians — alas — support vaccine passports, but a significant minority do not. And I have difficulty believing it’s only made up of anti-vax conspiracy theorists as the legacy media would have us believe. There are rational skeptics, and folks, like yours truly, in the minority of the majority: that is, people who’re vaccinated, but do not believe in forcing others to do so.

The anti-passport/lockdown minority were left without any voice among the establishment parties. Into this fray, the PPC has played the contrarian, inserting itself into a populist-libertarian space where the other parties fear to tread.

The party’s rallies resound with chants of “Freedom! Freedom!” as Bernier plays the role of William Wallace juicing the peasant rabble up to charge the English lines.

O’Toole’s headlong rush to the nebulous ‘centre’ could well pay off in the GTA-905 belt, but it has left a not insignificant number of otherwise traditionally Conservative voters out in the cold. His only appeal to them is their obligation to vote Tory to stop the Liberals. It will work with some voters, but it’s weak. It reduces the election to a mere personality contest between Trudeau and O’Toole.

As the PPC began its rise from obscurity to 6-11% in the polls, the legacy media began to take notice. Most leftist media personalities dismissed it as an angry and dangerous fringe unworthy of Canada’s noble progressivism. Most establishment conservative media personalities dismiss it as a vane-glorious monument to Bernier’s ego. Only a handful have bothered to scratch the surface to ask “Who are these people, and what are these people so upset about?”

The lazy armchair consensus of the punditocracy is they are just angry, white, racist, rural, old, male, right-wingers upset about how wonderfully tolerant and progressive Canada has become.

But the PPC voter profile is more complex than this trope. Certainly, the PPC has taken a bite out of the Tories, but is engaging new groups that defy an easy left-right pinning of the tail on the donkey. Young people, former Green voters, and — most notably — non-voters make up most of the party’s polling gains.

PPC Freedom Rally in Strathmore, Alberta (Image Credit: Western Standard)

The party’s Freedom Rallies are a visible display of this, if the legacy media bothered to show up.

At a rally in the small town of Strathmore, Alberta — 30 minutes east of Calgary — Bernier attracted 1,000 attendees, give or take. It had the usual assortment of farmers and blue-collar conservatives; but it had the odd hippy wearing a poncho. A few punks wearing excessive eye-shadow. Some visible minorities. And young people. Lots of young people. It was not the typical small-town Alberta conservative town hall meeting of the usual suspects.

The PPC vote may well be too diluted across Canada to elect any MPs, but it will leave a mark.

Wednesday’s leader debate between federal heads of their parties was missing one candidate, and there was no sign of leadership, opines Slobodian. —photo courtesy CBC

Legacy media using a generic story image of the five other parties leaders, but exclude Bernier — despite him polling higher than two of them — will be a difficult illusion to maintain on Tuesday.

Canadians are by and large tired of the Liberals. Trudeau’s character is unbecoming of a leader of an advanced democratic country. There is a seething angry pool of voters who want change, but not just in the personality of the man or woman at 24 Sussex. Surely O’Toole can’t form a majority government by only appealing to cranks like me, but to win he’ll probably need to offer at least something.

Instead, he offers Trudeau without the blackface. I suppose it’s an improvement.

Like 2019, this should be the Conservatives election to lose. If he comes up short tonight, O’Toole will be tempted to blame others, namely Jason Kenney and Maxime Bernier.

Kenney is no doubt playing a less than helpful role, and will quite possibly be held responsible for flipping a few seats in Alberta to the Liberals and NDP. But his disastrous leadership of the province will not be the decisive factor if the Tories lose.

And Bernier himself is unlikely to be the primary spoiler. He’s the key driving force behind the PPC’s populist insurgency, but it was the polarization around vaccine passports — and O’Toole’s middling response to it — that has driven that party’s ascendance.

O’Toole may well pull this one out, but by squeezing the sunlight out of the space between himself and Trudeau, he has not helped his chances.

Derek Fildebrandt is Publisher of the Western Standard

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Opinion

McNICHOLLS: The case for a Canadian quest for the Victoria Cross

It begs the question as to why we have a Canadian Victoria Cross if the standards required to receive it are apparently unachievable?

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Private Jess Larochelle of the Royal Canadian Regiment was manning an observation post in Pashmul, Afghanistan Oct. 14, 2006, when the post was destroyed in a rocket attack.

The violent impact rendered the young soldier unconscious and though he didn’t know it at the time, the blast had also broken his back.

When Larochelle came to, he tried to bring his C6 7.62-mm machine gun into action, only to discover the attack had rendered it unserviceable.

He was badly injured, under heavy fire and alone.

Beside him were 15 M72 rocket launchers, which fortunately had not detonated, and he immediately put those to use.

During the fight, which saw two members of his unit killed and three wounded, his use of the rocket launchers effectively brought the insurgent’s attack to a halt and prevented his unit from being overrun.

On March 14, 2007, Larochelle was awarded the Star of Military Valour, one of 20 awarded to Canadian forces members during the Afghan conflict.

Many readers will be familiar with the Victoria Cross, which has been around since the Crimean War, having been introduced by Queen Victoria in January of 1856. It is the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry that can be bestowed on a member of Britain’s armed forces and was previously open to members of the British Empire and Commonwealth.

The Afghanistan Veterans Association of Canada has petitioned the Governor-General of Canada to award the Victoria Cross to former Pvt. Larochelle, Nipissing, Ont. man who is in poor health.

“I was in the same company with Jess,” said Bruce Moncur, founder of the Veterans Association.

“The guy had a broken back and single-handedly fought off 40 Taliban.”

The petition has the support of Conservative leader, Erin O’Toole.

“(Jess Larochelle) is worthy of consideration for Victorian class,” said O’Toole, himself a former commissioned officer in the Royal Canadian Air Force.

“I’m very proud of the men and women who serve in our Canadian Armed Forces and those (who) served in that mission with distinction and unparalleled courage,” he said Sept. 17.

Retired General Rick Hillier is also backing the group, and said Larochelle was at the “point of the spear.”

“This young man, this baby-faced soldier, this awesome Canadian, kept the Taliban attack away and behaved in a way that was incredible,” Hillier told the CBC.

Throughout its history, 1,358 Victoria Crosses have been awarded to 1,355 individuals. Three men received a VC and bar, meaning they won it twice. Ninety-nine were Canadian, or had a close association with Canada.

While early recipients most certainly demonstrated extreme acts of gallantry, there is little doubt the criteria for consideration for the award of a VC has, over time, become decidedly more stringent.

The rules were before consideration could be given, there had to be three reports of the incident. Assuming three had their heads above ground to notice, they then had to survive the action themselves. It then had to go up the chain of command where it was frequently downgraded. In other words, lots of very brave men did not receive consideration or received lesser medals.

Unsurprisingly, the war in which most were awarded was the First World War.
Probably more surprising is the Indian Rebellion beginning in 1857 is in second place.
What will likely surprise a great many is the Second World War is in third place.

There’s no question the British VC became harder to win as its history evolved. By the time of the Second World War you almost literally had to be killed to be considered for one. I have a recollection of reading about one Second World War Bomber Command group commander who decreed there would be no live VC recipients in his command.

Nevertheless, VCs were awarded for extreme acts of courage and 16 Canadians were so honoured during the conflict. Many, including a man from the City of Duncan on Vancouver Island, my hometown for 20 years, paid with their lives.

The last Canadian to be awarded a VC was Robert Hampton Gray of Trail, BC in 1945.
‘Hammy’ Gray would also make the supreme sacrifice for the act of bravery for which he was recognized.

In 1967, it was determined Canadians would no longer be eligible for the Victoria Cross and, in 1993, a Canadian VC was created.

The Star of Military Valour, which was awarded to Larochelle, is Canada’s second-highest award for courage in the face of the enemy.

Since the Second World War, 15 British VCs have been awarded, although four of those went to Australians serving in Vietnam before Australia also created its own Victoria Cross medal.

Of the 11 British awards, four were in Korea, two in the Falklands, three in Afghanistan and one in Iraq.

Admittedly, I have not carried out a study to compare how the most recent British awards stack up against those of the 20 Canadian Star of Military Valour recipients.

We are advised by Canada’s director of Military Honours and Recognition no actions have taken place that meet the requirements for the award of a Canadian VC. However, as one of the stated criteria was to be willingly or knowingly drawing fire onto oneself to relieve others, that seems very much the description of the action involving Pvt. Larochelle.

For argument’s sake, let’s say it does not meet the Canadian military’s criteria; I am left pondering the fact that in the history of the Canadian Victoria Cross, precisely zero have been awarded.

Since creating its own Victoria Cross medals, Australia has awarded four and New Zealand one.

There is campaign underway to have Larochelle’s medal upgraded to a VC, but this has so far not met with success.

It begs the question as to why we have a Canadian Victoria Cross if the standards required to receive it are apparently unachievable?

Paul McNicholls is an author and historical researcher on Vancouver Island. His first book, Journey Through the Wilderness, was published in 2019. He’s currently working on two projects. Canada’s Monty, the story of Field Marshal Sir Bernard Montgomery’s brother, Donald, who served with the Canadian Corps during the First World War. The second work-in-progress is Canada and the Boer War. McNicholls is the recipient of the 2021 Howard Browne Medal from the Victorian Military Society.

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