Anti-Trudeau billboards advertising Alberta Wexit campaign cause an uproar
The billboard is set up just outside city limits in Airdrie, Alta. as well as in other locations throughout the province. (Supplied)
CALGARY -- An advertising campaign that is taking issue with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is getting a lot of attention on social media this week.
One of the billboards, posted alongside the QE2 Highway north of Calgary just outside of Airdrie, Alta., was first noticed on Jan. 9 by Twitter user @MzRacz. (Note: As of Monday, Jan. 13, the Twitter user who noticed the billboard has changed their Twitter handle. Their posts that CTV had linked to are no longer active)
When CTV News reached out to the user, she admitted she was surprised when she first saw the advertisement.
"(I) actually turned around to drive back and get a look at it again," said the user, Heather, an Airdrie resident who only gave her first name.
"When I researched the event advertised by the billboard, and learned that it was for a Wexit rally, I got angry enough to tweet about it."
She says she quickly learned that the Airdrie billboard wasn’t the only one in the campaign, and that others have been put up in many locations all over Alberta including in Calgary and Edmonton.
The billboard contains a link to Alberta's Wexit, a movement that has held rallies throughout the province last year. The latest event took place on the steps of the Alberta legislature in Edmonton Saturday morning.
According to the organizer of that event, the goal was to promote the grassroots movement's push to become an official political party in Canada.
Peter Downing, leader of Wexit Canada, says he and rest of the Wexit supporters don't want to be governed by Eastern Canada and don't want to be ruled by the Trudeau government.
"We are just as competent and maybe even more so to take care of the concerns of everyday Albertans."
He says the rally was an opportunity for them to gather the signatures needed to be officially declared a political party by Elections Canada and become an alternate choice for Albertans.
"The Conservative Party of Canada is never going to form government again and that is going to force Albertans to have a choice: choose to be government by Justin Trudeau forever or vote for our independence."
The billboards were put up by Signpatico, a Regina-based advertising agency. CTV News has reached out to the company for comment but has not heard back.
Heather says she never imagined the impact her tweet was going to have, saying she quickly realized she must have "hit a nerve," especially when it was posted so close to her hometown.
"Airdrie’s a great city. This kind of advertising doesn’t really represent who we are, yet there it is, greeting everyone who drives up the QE2."
She adds there has also been a lot of support for her opposition with the sign and has learned many people are as disappointed as she is with the company's decision to run the campaign.
The City of Airdrie says it does not gather any ad revenue from billboards such as this one nor do they govern the material that goes up on them.