A group of Conservative-leaning senators are planning to create a caucus that can represent western Canada after Justin Trudeau’s Liberals were swept across the prairies in the recent election. The caucus could have a membership reaching anywhere between nine to 12 senators, according to The Tyee.
The group is expected to be formed imminently, with some reports suggesting that the announcement of its creation will be made as early as tomorrow. Since the group will have a minimum of nine members, they will automatically be granted official status within the senate.
Official status means this new group will immediately have a budget to employ staff and perform research. They will also be allowed designated time to ask questions during senate proceedings.
This prairie senate group is composed of senators who had previous affiliations to the Conservative and Liberal Party, as well as some independents. Their stated ambition is to decrease the sense of alienation within western Canada— galvanized by the re-election of Justin Trudeau.
The members of this proposed group include Conservatives Scott Tannas, Vern White, and the ex-conservative, Josée Verner and Douglas Black, who now sit as independents. Independent senators Elaine McCoy, Pamela Wallin, Diane Griffin, and Stephen Green are expected to join the ranks as well. All of these senators have previous connections to the Conservative party.
This week, a Wexit rally was held in Edmonton, making clear that the separatist movement in western Canada will not fade without some concession from Ottawa. The Wexit movement’s primary targets include the Liberal government’s handling of equalization and the environment. Wexit exploded online the night of the 2019 election after it was revealed Trudeau would stay on as PM.
Since Trudeau’s re-election, the Alberta Premier Jason Kenney, and the Saskatchewan Scott Moe, have both attempted to capitalize on their provinces irritation with the Liberals by proposing reforms to the equalization program.