Jump to content

Maverick Party

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
(Redirected from Wexit Canada)

Maverick Party
LeaderColin Krieger
PresidentChuck Toney
Deputy leaderAllan Kerpan (interim)
FounderPeter Downing
FoundedJanuary 10, 2020; 4 years ago (2020-01-10)
HeadquartersCalgary, Alberta, Canada
Ideology Provincial autonomy[5]
Political positionRight-wing[4][6] to far-right[7][8][9]
Colours  Green
0 / 105
House of Commons
0 / 338
maverickparty.ca Edit this at Wikidata

The Maverick Party, formerly known as Wexit Canada, is a Canadian federal political party. It advocates for constitutional changes to benefit, or the independence of, Western Canada, which includes British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut. The party has its roots in Alberta separatism and advocates the use of grassroots politics.[10][better source needed]

The party ran candidates across the aforementioned provinces and three territories in the 2021 Canadian federal election,[11][12] but did not run candidates in ridings where there was a strong possibility of electing a Liberal or New Democratic candidate.[13]

The party was led by former Conservative Party of Canada House leader Jay Hill since the resignation of the party's first leader, Peter Downing.[14] Hill came out of retirement to act as interim leader of the Maverick Party until the election of a new leader. Hill has said that he wants the party to serve a purpose in Western Canada similar to what the Bloc Québécois has done for Quebec.[15][16]

On May 14, 2022, party members elected Colin Krieger as the new leader of the party. Krieger won the leadership race with 52 per cent of the vote against Tariq Elnaga.[17]


The Wexit movement gained traction in October 2019, shortly after the 2019 Canadian federal election, when the Liberal Party under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was re-elected to form government.[18][19][20] In August 2019, Wexit Alberta held several meetings including a small summer meeting in Calgary's beltline.[21] A few months later another meeting in Calgary drew about 1700 attendees.[22]

On January 10, 2020, the party became "eligible for registration" under section 387 of the Canada Elections Act.[23][24] At the time, it recorded with Elections Canada under the name "Wexit Canada".[23] The following day, the party conducted a protest in Edmonton, involving approximately 100 supporters.[25][23]

In early 2020, Wexit Alberta started purchasing billboards in Alberta criticizing Prime Minister Trudeau for various things such as "ISIS terrorist reintegration", "tax theft", "economic sabotage", "foreign interference" and "ethics violations". This sparked public discussion over the lack of representation in western Canada for some, and criticism of the billboards themselves for others.[26][27] 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."[26]

In September 2020, Hill announced that the party had changed its name to the "Maverick Party".[28] When the party changed its name, its records with Elections Canada were updated. It remains eligible for registration when an election is called.[24]

On September 20, 2021, the party ran in the 2021 Canadian federal election for the first time since its founding in 2020. They lost the election with only 1 to 4 per cent of the vote going towards the party.[29]

On May 14, 2022 Colin Krieger was elected party leader, succeeding Jay Hill.

Provincial Wexit parties[edit]

While the Wexit movement organized provincial parties to run candidates, the Maverick Party is not directly affiliated with any of these parties.[14][30] The two main organizers of the #Wexit movement were Peter Downing and Pat King.[31]


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.[32]

Wexit reserved the name "Wexit Alberta" with Elections Alberta for use by a provincial party.[33] 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.[34][35][36]

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.[37][38] Both parties voted to approve the merger on June 29, 2020.[39][40] In July 2020, Wildrose Independence Party of Alberta[41] (WIPA) was registered with Elections Alberta, giving effect to the merger.[42][43] In October 2020, the People's Party of Alberta dissolved and its board members committed support WIPA.[44]

British Columbia[edit]

In November 2019, members of a Wexit group held a rally in Prince George.[45] Wexit BC became a registered party with Elections BC on December 27, 2019.[46]

Officially, the party ran two candidates in the 2020 British Columbia general election.[47][48] At the time the election was called, Lee Smith was the party's leader but he resigned shortly after.[49][50] 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.[49]

The party was deregistered on July 4, 2022 after failing to file an annual financial report.[51]


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.[52] 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.[53][54]

On March 10, 2020, Wexit Saskatchewan became registered as a provincial party with Elections Saskatchewan.[55][56] Its first interim leader was Jake Wall.[57][58] Once registered, Wexit Saskatchewan proposed a referendum on independence in its platform.[59]

On June 3, 2020, the party's executive board voted to change the party's name to Buffalo Party of Saskatchewan.[60] That decision ratified by a membership vote.[61][62] In July 2020, the party changed its name, and named Wade Sira as its new interim leader.[62]

In the 2020 Saskatchewan general election, the Buffalo Party ran in 17 of the 61 ridings and captured 2.56 per cent of the vote.[63]

Party leaders[edit]

Leadership elections Name Term start Term end Riding while leader Notes
None Peter Downing January 10, 2020 June 23, 2020 None First leader
Interim Jay Hill June 23, 2020 May 14, 2022 None Interim leader
May 14, 2022 Colin Krieger May 14, 2022 Present None


No politician has ever endorsed Western secession while sitting as a Member of Parliament in the House of Commons. Even at the provincial level, it is rare for Western Canadian legislators to openly sympathize with separatism, and no MLA has ever won re-election after doing so. The only Western Canadian candidate to ever win election while openly running for a party with a secessionist platform was Gordon Kesler, who won as a Western Canada Concept MLA in a 1982 by-election; even in that case Kesler, downplayed the separatist aspect of his party's platform.

The party is seeking a presence in the House to advance its goals and ensure the frustrations of Western Canadians are heard.[64][65][better source needed] Following the election of Erin O'Toole as the new Conservative Party of Canada leader, Jay Hill was critical, saying that Western Canada would be on the "back burner" under O'Toole's leadership.[66] In September 2020, Hill criticized O'Toole for statements that the Conservatives would ensure Canada meets the Paris Agreement climate change targets.[67]

On April 26, 2022, the party released their policy platform. The platform includes repealing Trudeau’s efforts to block Western economic development such as the ‘No More Pipelines bill’ (C-69) and the ‘Tanker Ban’ (C-48), making major revisions to the equalization formula, institute fiscal responsibility, reduce trade barriers within Canada, increase the exploration and mining of minerals, strengthen provincial autonomy, introduce direct democracy, reform firearms legislation, give greater control of immigration to the provinces, and defunding the CBC.[68]

While opposing any form of carbon tax, the Maverick Party takes a different approach to dealing with environmental concerns than the Liberals or Conservatives. It does not ignore climate change altogether, but instead advocates for energy options such as nuclear, thermal, biomass, LNG [liquified natural gas] and carbon capture projects to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in western Canada.[68][better source needed]

Electoral performance[edit]

Popular vote in Canada

Election Leader Votes % Seats +/– Position Government
2021 Jay D. Hill 35,178 0.21
0 / 338
Steady 0 Increase 8th Extra-parliamentary

See also[edit]


  1. ^ von Scheel, Elise (May 13, 2021). "Maverick Party tries to capitalize on O'Toole's unpopularity in Alberta". CBC News. Retrieved September 13, 2021.
  2. ^ Boutilier, Alex (August 21, 2021). "Maxime Bernier, western separatist party both denied participation in official federal debates". The Star. Retrieved September 13, 2021.
  3. ^ Gerson, Jen (September 13, 2021). "The Maverick Party wants in—sort of". Macleans. Retrieved September 14, 2021.
  4. ^ a b "Wexit and the Alternative Right (as of December 2, 2019)". Active History. December 2, 2019. Retrieved May 1, 2020.
  5. ^ "Wagner, Michael. "WAGNER: The Maverick's platform makes them the new party of the West". Western Standard". April 21, 2022.
  6. ^ Mandryk, Murray (September 15, 2021). "Keep an Eye on the Right-Wing Alternatives on Election Night". Regina Leader-Post. Retrieved November 10, 2021.
  7. ^ PTI (February 22, 2022). "Canada protest: Bail denied to Tamara Lich — key organiser of protests against PM Justin Trudeau & COVID restrictions". Financial Express. Retrieved February 22, 2022. Lich previously belonged to the far-right Maverick Party, which calls for western Canada to become independent.
  8. ^ Lardner, Richard; Smith, Michelle R.; Swenson, Ali (February 17, 2022). "How American right-wing funding for Canadian trucker protests could sway U.S. politics". PBS. Retrieved February 22, 2022. She previously belonged to the far-right Maverick Party, which calls for western Canada to become independent.
  9. ^ Morris, Jim; Gilles, Rob (February 11, 2022). "EXPLAINER: A look at what's behind the protests in Canada". ABC News. Retrieved February 22, 2022. Also involved are Tamara Lich, who previously belonged to the far-right Maverick Party
  10. ^ Naylor, Dave (December 24, 2020). "Hill pilots course for Western Maverick Party in 2021". Western Standard. Retrieved January 25, 2023.
  11. ^ Dryden, Joel (January 11, 2020). "Wexit party granted eligibility for next federal election". CBC News. Retrieved April 5, 2020.
  12. ^ Rieger, Sarah (November 17, 2019). "Wexit party to run federal and provincial candidates across Western Canada". CBC News. Retrieved April 5, 2020.
  13. ^ "Maverick Party: The great myth of vote-splitting - YouTube". Retrieved January 16, 2021 – via YouTube.
  14. ^ 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.
  15. ^ Graveland, Bill (September 12, 2021). "Maverick Party looks to Bloc Québécois as inspiration to ensure western interests". CBC News. Retrieved September 13, 2021.
  16. ^ Graveland, Bill (September 12, 2021). "The West Bloc: Maverick Party looks to BQ as inspiration to ensure western interests". CTV News. Retrieved September 13, 2021.
  17. ^ "Krieger new leader of Maverick Party". Western Standard. May 14, 2022. Retrieved June 24, 2022.
  18. ^ Macvicar, Adam (January 10, 2020). "Wexit political party can now run candidates in Canadian federal elections". Global News. Retrieved April 6, 2020.
  19. ^ Bogart, Nicole (October 22, 2019). "Wexit: How a political divide in Western Canada is driving calls for separation". CTV News. Retrieved January 13, 2020.
  20. ^ "'Wexit' should heed pitfalls faced by other separatist movements: experts". CTV News. The Canadian Press. Retrieved February 3, 2020.
  21. ^ "New Alberta separation group meets in Calgary: 'It's time to take control'". Global News. Retrieved January 15, 2021.
  22. ^ Johnston, Matthew (November 17, 2019). "Calgary Wexit rally draws 1,700". Western Standard. Retrieved January 15, 2021.
  23. ^ a b c Antoneshyn, Alex (January 12, 2020). "Wexit Canada becomes eligible federal political party". CTV News Edmonton. Retrieved January 12, 2020.
  24. ^ a b "Registered Political Parties and Parties Eligible for Registration". Elections Canada. Archived from the original on February 4, 2020.
  25. ^ "'We're looking for our own country': Wexit supporters brave cold in Edmonton for referendum protest Saturday". Global News. Retrieved January 12, 2020.
  26. ^ a b Franklin, Michael (January 11, 2020). "Anti-Trudeau billboards advertising Alberta Wexit campaign cause an uproar". CTV News. Retrieved January 13, 2020.
  27. ^ 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.
  28. ^ 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.
  29. ^ Bellefontaine, Michelle (October 2, 2021). "Maverick Party reflects on 'disappointing' election result". CBC News. Retrieved March 31, 2023.
  30. ^ "Buffalo Party platform wants same deals as Quebec, but does not include actual separation". MSN. Retrieved January 16, 2021.
  31. ^ Zhou, Steven (October 30, 2019). "#Wexit Founders Are Far-Right Conspiracy Theorists". www.vice.com. Retrieved February 28, 2022.
  32. ^ Yousif, Nadine (February 11, 2020). "'Alberta has been cheated': Wexit supporters on what drives them". Maclean's. Retrieved April 27, 2020.
  33. ^ "Wexit Alberta". Wexit Alberta. Retrieved March 10, 2020.
  34. ^ "Wexit Alberta Constitution". Wexit Alberta. Retrieved January 12, 2020.
  35. ^ "Wexit Alberta Platform". Wexit Alberta. Retrieved February 3, 2020.
  36. ^ Levinson-King, Robin (October 11, 2019). "Wexit: Why some Albertans want to separate from Canada". BBC News. Retrieved February 3, 2020.
  37. ^ 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.
  38. ^ Antoneshyn, Alex (April 27, 2020). "Union between Wexit, Freedom Conservative parties on the table". CTV News. Retrieved April 27, 2020.
  39. ^ 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.
  40. ^ Naylor, Dave (June 29, 2020). "The 'Wildrose' is back: FCP & Wexit members vote to form new party". Western Standard. Retrieved July 3, 2020.
  41. ^ "Home". Wildrose Independence Party of Alberta. Retrieved January 16, 2021.
  42. ^ Naylor, Dave (July 17, 2020). "WIP gets official status from Elections Alberta". Western Standard. Retrieved July 30, 2020.
  43. ^ "Parties". Elections Alberta. 2020. Retrieved July 30, 2020.
  44. ^ 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.
  45. ^ Fetinko, Matt (November 23, 2019). "First Wexit BC rally held in Prince George". CKPG-TV. Retrieved May 1, 2020.
  46. ^ "Volume CLX, No. 2". The British Columbia Gazette. Government of British Columbia. January 9, 2020. Retrieved September 30, 2023.
  47. ^ "2020 Provincial General Election Final Voting Results (by Candidate)". Elections BC. November 8, 2020. Archived from the original on December 1, 2020. Retrieved November 9, 2020.
  48. ^ "2020 Provincial General Election Final Voting Results (by Party)". Elections BC. November 8, 2020. Archived from the original on October 27, 2020. Retrieved November 10, 2020.
  49. ^ a b Phillips, Brennan (October 13, 2020). "Boundary-Similkameen Wexit candidate faces messy exit". Vernon Morning Star. Retrieved January 15, 2021.
  50. ^ "Registered Political Parties - Information" (PDF). Elections BC. April 3, 2020. Retrieved April 5, 2020.
  51. ^ "Volume CLXII, No. 28". The British Columbia Gazette. Government of British Columbia. July 14, 2022. Retrieved September 30, 2023.
  52. ^ Hunter, Adam. "Premier Moe demands 'new deal,' says he is handing Justin Trudeau a 'fire extinguisher'". CBC News. Retrieved January 12, 2020.
  53. ^ White-Crummey, Arthur (November 8, 2019). "Wexit party registration drive coming to Saskatchewan". Regina Leader-Post. Retrieved April 6, 2020.
  54. ^ Wiens, Colton (November 17, 2019). "Wexit Saskatchewan gathers signatures to form new party". CTV News. Retrieved April 6, 2020.
  55. ^ Charlton, Jonathan (March 10, 2020). "Wexit Saskatchewan slams Moe, Sask Party as it applies for official party status". CTV News. Retrieved April 6, 2020.
  56. ^ "Wexit Saskatchewan becomes official political party". CBC News. March 10, 2020. Retrieved April 6, 2020.
  57. ^ "Registered Political Parties". Elections Saskatchewan. 2020. Retrieved April 6, 2020.
  58. ^ "Registered Political Parties (as of March 10, 2020)" (PDF). Elections Saskatchewan. Retrieved April 6, 2020.
  59. ^ "Platform". Wexit Saskatchewan. 2020. Retrieved April 6, 2020.
  60. ^ "Buffalo Party of Saskatchewan". Buffalo Party of Saskatchewan. Retrieved January 16, 2021.
  61. ^ Harding, Lee (June 10, 2020). "'Buffalo Party of Saskatchewan' set for a membership vote". Western Standard. Retrieved June 10, 2020.
  62. ^ a b Zinchuk, Brian (July 26, 2020). "Provincial separatist party rebrands, appoints new interim leader". Humboldt Journal. Retrieved July 30, 2020.
  63. ^ "2020 Saskatchewan General Election CBC Interactive". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. January 24, 2021.
  64. ^ "Wexit The Plan" (PDF). Wexit Canada. Retrieved January 12, 2020.
  65. ^ 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.
  66. ^ Naylor, Dave (August 22, 2020). "New Tory leader won't be a friend of the West: Hill". Western Standard. Retrieved September 11, 2020.
  67. ^ "Wexit Canada Party slams O'Toole's support of Paris climate targets". Power & Politics. CBC News. September 11, 2020. Retrieved September 11, 2020.
  68. ^ a b Wagner, Michael (April 30, 2021). "WAGNER: The Maverick's platform makes them the new party of the West". Western Standard. Retrieved May 10, 2023.

External links[edit]