Posted on Jul 13, 2020


EDMONTON - UCP Members have once again refused to denounce separatism and have left the door open to a referendum on leaving Canada following the first meeting of the Select Special Democratic Accountability Committee.


A Motion from NDP Democracy and Ethics Critic Heather Sweet proposed that the committee perform a cross-jurisdictional analysis on “safeguards against using citizen initiatives to promote separatist agendas or the erosion of democratic fairness and transparency”.


“This amendment should have been an easy yes for the UCP,” Sweet said. “Instead, they decided to double down on their dog whistle to their separatist base. Rather than just commit to standing up for a united Canada and working with the Opposition to come up with strategies that put Canada before any partisan agenda.”


The UCP’s reluctance to stand up to separatists has become more pronounced over the past months. UCP MLA Drew Barnes, who was hand-picked by Jason Kenney to serve on the Fair Deal panel, advocated separatism as part of his response to the Fair Deal Report. 


Another UCP MLA, Jason Stephen, gave a bizarre member statement on June 8, where he referred to other Canadian provinces as “hostile parasitic partners.”


On July 6, the UCP Caucus blocked an emergency debate proposed by the Official Opposition that would have shown the Legislature’s support for a united Canada and affirmed that Alberta is stronger within Canada. The Government proposed to bring forward their own motion on separatism but media reports have surfaced indicating they’ve now backed away from that commitment. 


“What will it take for the UCP to finally stand up for Canada against their own members and base?” Sweet said. “The UCP has been given multiple opportunities to denounce and take a stand against separatism and affirm their support for Canada and each time they have chosen to put their partisan allies ahead of what's best for Canada and Alberta.”