The downfall of the Energy East pipeline could provide a big boost for those who want the west to separate from the rest of Canada.
TransCanada’s decision Thursday to cancel the project angered many western Canadians, leading to some talk of splitting from Ottawa.
It’s a conversation which could benefit the newly-minted Prairie Freedom Alliance Party (PFAP).
“With all the environment that Trudeau put forward, it’s made it really hard on pretty much any oil company and it’s not surprising,” said Chris Kirk, leader of the budding political party.
The group was established as a Facebook community in October, advocating for the creation of “an independent Western Canadian nation.” The alliance would include Saskatchewan, Alberta, Manitoba, British Columbia and the Northwest Territories.
PFAP doesn’t have official party status in federal politics, but Kirk sees them becoming the Bloc Québécois of the west.
“We need a representative voice in the west, and I think a separatist party can do that,” he told Saskatchewan Afternoon’s David Kirton on Friday.
“We may not be able to separate, but it would give us some power to bring some infrastructure back to western Canada.”
Kirk said the threat of separation could lead to action on pipelines running east and west, as well as the end of equalization payments to eastern provinces like Quebec.
PFAP currently has 556 followers on Facebook, and is based in Kindersley, Sask.