Digital billboard campaign puts question of separation to Albertans
Published Wednesday, February 20, 2019 7:59AM MST Last Updated Wednesday, February 20, 2019 7:01PM MST
A new billboard campaign released in Calgary and Edmonton is attracting attention and questions whether or not Alberta should separate from Canada.
The ad campaign was launched by Alberta Fights Back, a political action group, and asks the question, ‘Should Alberta Ditch Canada?’
The digital billboard in Calgary is at 700 - 58 Avenue S.E. and the one in Edmonton is located at 99 Street & 63 Avenue.
According the group’s website, the goal of the campaign is to take the discussion directly to ‘the non-political Albertan... the type of Albertan who determines the outcome of elections.’
“This is raising awareness, basically getting the question, Should Alberta Ditch Canada, into the minds of regular people so we’re taking the discussion away from the political circles, the journalistic circles, on the fringes, and bringing into the mainstream,” said Peter Downing, Executive Director of Alberta Fights Back. “This is the first step, asking the question and having people consider it.”
The group calls the move a legitimate option and so far, they have received nearly $3,000 dollars in fundraising for the signs.
Alberta Fights Back says separation would create potential savings for Alberta and give the province the ability to develop our own resources and not drain our tax dollars.
“We’re doing what we need to do to take care of ourselves. The rest of the country needs to be looking at the situation and say, how did we allow this to happen, how do we allow ourselves to turn our backs on Alberta and what are we going to do to make the situation right?” said Downing. “Our natural resources, we’re able to develop our own natural resources and get world prices for our oil as opposed to heavy discounting to the U.S. So we could take those additional costs, we could pay for in spades and I just don’t see the benefit we’re getting versus what we’re paying out.”
Downing says the end goal is to urge the next premier to set up an official referendum and give Albertans a say.
“If you’re not willing to put referendum on the table, you’re not willing to represent Albertans, plain and simple,” he said. "There is no agenda here other than, do the right thing for Alberta."
Political analysts say it’s a message of frustration over pipelines and equalization payments and that separation really wouldn't solve anything.
Alberta Fights Back is registered as a third party election advertiser with Elections Alberta and the ads are scheduled to run until February 25, 2019.