Despite U.S. calls for more, Canada's defence spending set to stay the same
OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is likely to face questions from other leaders of the NATO military alliance next week as new figures show Canadian military spending is expected to remain stagnant this year. All NATO members agreed in 2014 to work toward spending two per cent of their gross domestic products on defence within a decade, a pledge that has taken on added significance thanks to U.S. President Donald Trump.
The group pushing forfrom Canada says people are flocking to the separatist movement, and support is coming from all across the Prairie provinces.
Interest in, or "western exit," has exploded since the The group now has more than 272,000 members on its Facebook page, and hundreds of people have shown up to support recent Wexit rallies in Edmonton and Calgary.
Years of recession and frustration with federal government policies are fuelling western separatist sentiments.
Can anything stop Jason Kenney? Alberta premier rides high approval rating as his party gathers for convention
EDMONTON — On Monday, Premier Jason Kenney stood beside the Toronto MP and Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland in his office at the Alberta legislature and warmly welcomed her, an “Alberta girl” from Peace River, Alta., back home. That was after earlier this month, in a speech before conservative faithful, condemning the “record of assaults” of Freeland’s own Liberal government on Alberta. This is part of Kenney’s skill as a politician. He knows his audience and can be a peacemaker behind doors while delivering a rousing barn burner of a speech in public. He, in the words of country legend Kenny Rogers, knows when to hold ‘em.
Wexit founder Peter Downing blames Prime Ministerfor crushing economic growth in Alberta and Saskatchewan.
"We've never before seen a government in Ottawa so hostile to one area of the country," Downing said.
"We want people here to have a high quality of life and it's only through self-determination — which can only come through separation — that we're going to achieve it. And we will achieve it," Downing added.
Any talk of of western separation would need the support of First Nations, which have treaties with the Crown and traditional territory.
Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations Chief Bobby Cameron says no one from Wexit has consulted him.
Geoff Ward has Flames playing in tune in wake of Bill Peters's departure
Happy is not a word anyone would use to describe the Calgary Flames through the first two months of this campaign, but interim coach Geoff Ward has worked quickly to change the narrative following the resignation of Bill Peters.Happyland, to Lucic, is the rink itself — a magical place where distractions, such as Friday's dramatic departure of head coach Bill Peters, disappear if only for a while.
"To have this conversation, saying, 'We're going to separate' — and have First Nations not support it? It's not going to happen,'" Cameron said.
Political analyst Duane Bratt doesn't put much stock in Wexit's chances of separation success either.
"I don't think it's a serious threat, but I think it's a voice that needs to be heard," Bratt said.
Bratt adds that Premier Jason Kenney'spresents an additional challenge for Wexit.
"I will say to Kenney's credit, his proposal on the Fair Deal panel - essentially 'Firewall 2.0' - I think is going to cut the Wexit movement off at its knees. That instead of discussing how Alberta should leave Canada, it's about what powers Alberta can have within Canada."
Varcoe: Constant talk of bad economy, Wexit paints unattractive picture of Alberta .
Varcoe: Constant talk of bad economy, Wexit paints unattractive picture of AlbertaIf you talk long enough about the gloom, the doom just might follow.