Maverick Party

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Maverick Party
LeaderJay Hill (interim)
PresidentAngela Propp Schmidt
Deputy LeaderAllan Kerpan (interim)
FoundedJanuary 10, 2020; 15 months ago (2020-01-10)
HeadquartersCalgary, Alberta
Slogan"How the West was ONE"
Seats in the
0 / 105
Seats in the
House of Commons
0 / 338

The Maverick Party, formerly known as Wexit Canada is a Canadian federal political party. It advocates for constitutional change that will benefit the West, or the independence of Western Canada, which includes British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and the three territories. The former name was a play on Brexit, the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union.[5] The party has its roots in Alberta separatism.

The party plans to run candidates across the four provinces and three territories in the upcoming 44th Canadian federal election.[2][6] The Maverick Party[7] will not run candidates in ridings where there is a strong possibility of electing a Liberal or New Democratic Party candidate.[8] Jay Hill noted that vote splitting will not be a significant issue since most elections are won before Western votes are counted.[8]

The party is led by former Conservative Party of Canada House leader Jay Hill following the resignation of former leader Peter Downing.[9] Hill came out of retirement to act as interim leader of the Maverick Party until a new leader can be established. Hill has said he wants the party to serve a purpose in the West similar to what the Bloc Québécois[10] has done for Quebec.[11]


The Wexit movement gained traction in October 2019, shortly after the 2019 Canadian federal election, when the Liberal Party[12] under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was re-elected to form government.[13][14] In August 2019, Wexit Alberta held several meetings including a small summer meeting in Calgary’s beltline.[15] A few months later another meeting in Calgary drew about 1700 attendees.[16]

On January 10, 2020, the party became "eligible for registration" under section 387 of the Canada Elections Act.[17][18] At the time, it recorded with Elections Canada under the name "Wexit Canada".[17] The following day, the party conducted a protest in Edmonton, involving approximately 100 supporters.[3][17]

In early 2020, Wexit Alberta started purchasing billboards in Alberta criticizing Trudeau, sparking public discussion over the lack of representation in western Canada for some, and criticism of the billboards themselves for others.[19][20] Signpatico, an advertising agency based in Regina, that installed the billboards, promised to vet ads more carefully in the future stating that while the company "fundamentally stand[s] by freedom of expression, as per the Charter", Signpatico is not "intending on inciting perceptions of hate speech or offensive ads."[19]

In September 2020, Hill announced that the party had changed its name to the "Maverick Party".[21] When the party changed its name, its records with Elections Canada were updated. It remains eligible for registration when an election is called.[18]

Provincial Wexit parties[edit]

While the Wexit movement organized provincial parties to run candidates, the Mavrick Party is not directly affiliated with any of these parties.[9][22]


On January 11, 2020, a Wexit rally was held at the Alberta legislature grounds with the goal of collecting the 8,400 signatures required for official party status.[23]

Wexit reserved the name "Wexit Alberta" with Elections Alberta for use by a provincial party.[24] According to its constitution, its plans included abolishing the provincial branch of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the establishment of an "Alberta National Police" and a "Provincial Sheriff Program". It planned to adopt a currency to replace the Canadian dollar as well.[25][26][27]

On April 27, 2020, Wexit Alberta and the Freedom Conservative Party of Alberta announced plans to merge into a new party called the Wildrose Independence Party of Alberta.[28][29] Both parties voted to approve the merger on June 29, 2020.[30][31] In July 2020, Wildrose Independence Party of Alberta[32] (WIPA) was registered with Elections Alberta, giving effect to the merger.[33][34] In October 2020, the People's Party of Alberta dissolved and its board members committed support WIPA.[35]

British Columbia[edit]

In November 2019, members of a Wexit group held a rally in Prince George.[36] Wexit BC became a registered party with Elections BC in 2020.[37]

Officially, the party ran two candidates in the 2020 British Columbia general election.[38][39] At the time the election was called, Lee Smith was the party's leader but he resigned shortly after.[40][41] After final nominations closed, the party announced that it was retracting its endorsements of both of its candidates. As this occurred after the close of nominations, both candidates still appeared on the ballot identified as Wexit BC candidates.[40]

The party's leadership remained vacant as of January 2021.[42][43]


The day after the 2019 federal election, Scott Moe, Premier of Saskatchewan, proposed a "New Deal" with the federal government. He called for an end to the federal carbon tax, renegotiation of the equalization formula, and action on oil-pipeline projects.[44] In the weeks after the election, Wexit volunteers began collecting signatures to form a new party. They called on Moe to hold a referendum on separation, saying that if he did not agree they would form a party to do so.[45][46]

On March 10, 2020, Wexit Saskatchewan became registered as a provincial party with Elections Saskatchewan.[47][48] Its first interim leader was Jake Wall.[49][50] Once registered, Wexit Saskatchewan proposed a referendum on independence in its platform.[51]

On June 3, 2020, the party's executive board voted to change the party's name to Buffalo Party of Saskatchewan.[52] That decision ratified by a membership vote.[53][54] In July 2020, the party changed its name, and named Wade Sira as its new interim leader.[54]

On October 26, 2020, the 2020 Saskatchewan general election was held in which the Buffalo Party of Saskatchewan ran in 17 of the 61 ridings and captured 2.56 percent of the vote.[55]

Party leaders[edit]

The Maverick Party's interim leader Jay Hill, a former Member of Parliament
Leadership elections Name Term start Term end Riding while leader Notes
None Peter Downing January 12, 2020 June 23, 2020 None First leader
Interim Jay Hill June 23, 2020 present None Interim leader


No member of parliament in the House of Commons openly sympathizes with the idea of Western secession.[citation needed] The party wants a presence in the House to advance its goals and ensure the frustrations of Western Canadians are heard.[1][43][better source needed].

The Maverick Party, unlike other western independence parties, will run candidates in the next federal election to represent the best interests of Western Canadian, while simultaneously advocating for constitutional change: Triple-E Senate and elimination of equalization payments that subsidize Eastern provinces. If the Maverick Party is not able to get the necessary concessions from the federal government, they will push for a referendum on independence across the West and North.

Following the election of Erin O'Toole as the new Conservative Party of Canada leader, Jay Hill was critical, saying that the West would be on the "back burner" under O'Toole's leadership.[56] In September 2020, Hill criticized O'Toole for statements that the Conservatives would ensure Canada meets the Paris Agreement climate change targets.[57] Mr. O'Toole, in conversations with Quebec's Premier Legault, has committed to continuing equalization payments to Quebec and agreed that Energy East is off the table.[58]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Wexit The Plan" (PDF). Wexit Canada. Wexit Canada. Retrieved January 12, 2020.
  2. ^ a b Dryden, Joel (January 11, 2020). "Wexit party granted eligibility for next federal election". CBC News. Retrieved April 5, 2020.
  3. ^ a b "'We're looking for our own country': Wexit supporters brave cold in Edmonton for referendum protest Saturday". Global News. Retrieved January 12, 2020.
  4. ^ "Wexit and the Alternative Right (as of December 2, 2019)". Active History. Retrieved May 1, 2020.
  5. ^ "'Wexit' should heed pitfalls faced by other separatist movements: experts". CTV News. The Canadian Press. Retrieved February 3, 2020.
  6. ^ Rieger, Sarah (November 17, 2019). "Wexit party to run federal and provincial candidates across Western Canada". CBC News. Retrieved April 5, 2020.
  7. ^ "Maverick Party | True Western Canadian Representation". Mysite 3. Retrieved January 16, 2021.
  8. ^ a b "Maverick Party: The great myth of vote-splitting - YouTube". Retrieved January 16, 2021 – via YouTube.
  9. ^ a b Rieger, Sarah (June 23, 2020). "Jay Hill, former House leader under Harper, named interim head of separatist party Wexit Canada". CBC News. Retrieved January 12, 2021.
  10. ^ "Bloc Québécois | The Canadian Encyclopedia". Retrieved January 16, 2021.
  11. ^ "New Wexit party needs to do for the West for the Bloc did for Quebec: interim leader". Global News.
  12. ^ "Liberal Party of Canada". Retrieved January 16, 2021.
  13. ^ Macvicar, Adam (January 10, 2020). "Wexit political party can now run candidates in Canadian federal elections". Global News. Retrieved April 6, 2020.
  14. ^ Bogart, Nicole (October 22, 2019). "Wexit: How a political divide in Western Canada is driving calls for separation". CTV News. Retrieved January 13, 2020.
  15. ^ "New Alberta separation group meets in Calgary: 'It's time to take control'". Global News. Retrieved January 15, 2021.
  16. ^ Johnston, Matthew (November 17, 2019). "Calgary Wexit rally draws 1,700". The Western Standard. Retrieved January 15, 2021.
  17. ^ a b c Antoneshyn, Alex (January 12, 2020). "Wexit Canada becomes eligible federal political party". CTV News Edmonton. Retrieved January 12, 2020.
  18. ^ a b "Registered Political Parties and Parties Eligible for Registration". Elections Canada. Archived from the original on February 4, 2020.
  19. ^ a b Franklin, Michael (January 11, 2020). "Anti-Trudeau billboards advertising Alberta Wexit campaign cause an uproar". CTV News. Retrieved January 13, 2020.
  20. ^ Dryden, Joel (January 12, 2020). "After anti-Trudeau billboards spark outrage, ad company says it will re-evaluate vetting process". CBC News. Retrieved January 13, 2020.
  21. ^ Dryden, Joel (September 17, 2020). "Seeking broader appeal, separatist Wexit Canada party changes its name to the Maverick Party". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved September 18, 2020.
  22. ^ "Buffalo Party platform wants same deals as Quebec, but does not include actual separation". MSN. Retrieved January 16, 2021.
  23. ^ Yousif, Nadine (February 11, 2020). "'Alberta has been cheated': Wexit supporters on what drives them". Maclean's. Retrieved April 27, 2020.
  24. ^ "Wexit Alberta". Wexit Alberta. Wexit Alberta. Retrieved March 10, 2020.
  25. ^ "Wexit Alberta Constitution". Wexit Alberta. Retrieved January 12, 2020.
  26. ^ "Wexit Alberta Platform". Wexit Alberta. Retrieved February 3, 2020.
  27. ^ Levinson-King, Robin (October 11, 2019). "Wexit: Why some Albertans want to separate from Canada". BBC News. Retrieved February 3, 2020.
  28. ^ Mertz, Emily (April 27, 2020). "FCP and Wexit members to vote on merging into Wildrose Independence Party of Alberta". Global News. Retrieved April 27, 2020.
  29. ^ Antoneshyn, Alex (April 27, 2020). "Union between Wexit, Freedom Conservative parties on the table". CTV News. Retrieved April 27, 2020.
  30. ^ Labby, Bryan (June 30, 2020). "Wexit Alberta and Freedom Conservative Party vote to merge as Wildrose Independence Party of Alberta". CBC News. Retrieved July 3, 2020.
  31. ^ Naylor, Dave (June 29, 2020). "The 'Wildrose' is back: FCP & Wexit members vote to form new party". Western Standard. Retrieved July 3, 2020.
  32. ^ "Home". Wildrose Independence Party of Alberta. Retrieved January 16, 2021.
  33. ^ Naylor, Dave (July 17, 2020). "WIP gets official status from Elections Alberta". Western Standard. Retrieved July 30, 2020.
  34. ^ "Parties". Elections Alberta. 2020. Retrieved July 30, 2020.
  35. ^ Eliasson, Niklas (October 2, 2020). "The People's Party of Alberta (PPA) board dissolves to join Wildrose Independence Party of Alberta". The Buffalo Tribune. Retrieved January 15, 2021.
  36. ^ Fetinko, Matt (November 23, 2019). "First Wexit BC rally held in Prince George". CKPG-TV. Retrieved May 1, 2020.
  37. ^ "Wexit British Columbia". Wexit British Columbia. Wexit British Columbia. 2019. Retrieved April 5, 2020.
  38. ^ "2020 Provincial General Election Final Voting Results (by Candidate)". Elections BC. November 8, 2020. Retrieved November 9, 2020.
  39. ^ "2020 Provincial General Election Final Voting Results (by Party)". Elections BC. November 8, 2020. Retrieved November 10, 2020.
  40. ^ a b Phillips, Brennan (October 13, 2020). "Boundary-Similkameen Wexit candidate faces messy exit". Vernon Morning Star. Retrieved January 15, 2021.
  41. ^ "Registered Political Parties - Information" (PDF). Elections BC. April 3, 2020. Retrieved April 5, 2020.
  42. ^ "Registered Political Parties - Information" (PDF). Elections BC. January 15, 2021. Retrieved January 15, 2021.
  43. ^ a b Toneguzzi, Mario (November 26, 2019). "'Everyone's angry': Why you're wrong if you think Wexit is just 'an Alberta thing'". National Post. Retrieved April 6, 2020.
  44. ^ Hunter, Adam. "Premier Moe demands 'new deal,' says he is handing Justin Trudeau a 'fire extinguisher'". CBC News. Retrieved January 12, 2020.
  45. ^ White-Crummey, Arthur (November 8, 2019). "Wexit party registration drive coming to Saskatchewan". Regina Leader-Post. Retrieved April 6, 2020.
  46. ^ Wiens, Colton (November 17, 2019). "Wexit Saskatchewan gathers signatures to form new party". CTV News. Retrieved April 6, 2020.
  47. ^ Charlton, Jonathan (March 10, 2020). "Wexit Saskatchewan slams Moe, Sask Party as it applies for official party status". CTV News. Retrieved April 6, 2020.
  48. ^ "Wexit Saskatchewan becomes official political party". CBC News. March 10, 2020. Retrieved April 6, 2020.
  49. ^ "Registered Political Parties". Elections Saskatchewan. 2020. Retrieved April 6, 2020.
  50. ^ "Registered Political Parties (as of March 10, 2020)" (PDF). Elections Saskatchewan. Retrieved April 6, 2020.
  51. ^ "Platform". Wexit Saskatchewan. 2020. Retrieved April 6, 2020.
  52. ^ "Buffalo Party of Saskatchewan". Buffalo Party of Saskatchewan. Retrieved January 16, 2021.
  53. ^ Harding, Lee (June 10, 2020). "'Buffalo Party of Saskatchewan' set for a membership vote". Western Standard. Retrieved June 10, 2020.
  54. ^ a b Zinchuk, Brian (July 26, 2020). "Provincial separatist party rebrands, appoints new interim leader". Humboldt Journal. Retrieved July 30, 2020.
  55. ^ "2020 Saskatchewan General Election CBC Interactive". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. January 24, 2021.
  56. ^ Naylor, Dave (August 22, 2020). "New Tory leader won't be a friend of the West: Hill". Western Standard. Retrieved September 11, 2020.
  57. ^ "Wexit Canada Party slams O'Toole's support of Paris climate targets". Power & Politics. CBC News. September 11, 2020. Retrieved September 11, 2020.
  58. ^ "O'Toole says Energy East 'not on the table' after talking pipelines with Legault". CTVNews. September 14, 2020.

External links[edit]