Posted on Jul 6, 2020


EDMONTON -- The UCP government has voted against a motion that called on the Legislature to support a united Canada and reject separatism.


The motion was introduced by the NDP Official Opposition in response to recent pro-separatist comments by several UCP MLAs. 


UCP Cypress-Medicine Hat MLA Drew Barnes has advocated for separation in recent blog posts. Meanwhile, UCP Red Deer-South MLA Jason Stephan read off a bizarre rant last month in the Legislature in which he referred to other Canadian provinces as, “hostile, parasitic partners.” UCP MLA for Fort McMurray-Wood Buffalo Tany Yao attended a conference on separatism. When asked about Alberta separating from Canada, he said, “We’re close, quite honestly.” 


“There is clearly a growing separatist caucus within the UCP,” said Heather Sweet, NDP Critic for Democracy and Ethics. “Jason Kenney’ refusal to shut down this kind of talk will drive away investment and cost Albertans’ jobs. Instead, Jason Kenney continues to stoke the flames of separatism in order to distract Albertans from his failure to create jobs and get Albertans back to work.”


In response to Barnes’s calls for independence, Kenney said he has no issues with caucus members talking about the prospect of separating. 


Barnes and Yao were also on the Fair Deal Panel created by Premier Kenney to look at a host of options linked to gaining greater independence from Ottawa. 


“Today, the UCP had a chance to once and for all commit to a united Canada. Unfortunately, they failed miserably. It’s becoming increasingly clear that Jason Kenney and his UCP government ultimately want to tear apart the country,” said Sweet.  


The motion required unanimous consent, but the UCP refused to do so, meaning the motion was not debated in the Legislature.