2022 SU General Election Full Supplement

Illustration by Tricia Lim

Western separation group emerges on campus

By Frankie Hart, November 5 2019 —

Post-election tensions are rising as some Albertans are feeling the rage and alienation that has been stoking from all the way back before 2015. Such frustrations have culminated in the emergence of various groups advocating for separation from Canada. One such group recently formed on the University of Calgary campus, in the form of the Mwexit Club.

Third-year political science student Oliver Oken founded this club for like-minded students who wanted to advocate for Alberta to separate. However, he wants to ensure that the specific goals of his club are clear — this isn’t your average Alberta-separatist group.

“Western separation means a lot of different things to a lot of different people,” Oken explained. “We don’t want to be confused with any other groups — though we do think the Western Block Party sounds cool, I love block parties.”

Some groups want to see Alberta separate as its own entity, others want multiple western provinces to break off as a unit. The goal of the Mwexit Club is to advocate, very specifically, not only for the separation of Alberta from Canada but also of Montana from the United States.

“When I first propose this to people, I gotta be honest, they’re pretty skeptical,” Oken said. “But then I explain to them this: Consider the town of Hanna, Alberta. Nickelback was born here — epic. We combine Alberta with Montana, and make the capital Hanna. Would you not want to live in a country whose capital is Hanna, Montana? That’s what Mwexit is all about. You get the best of both worlds.”

It seems that the entire selling-point of Oken’s club is the allure of having a capital called  Hanna, Montana, as the club offers no solutions to the many issues implied by their proposed plan. In fact, the plan suggests no calls to action besides to like their various social media pages.

“Social media is the most accurate representation of people, and we consider the likes on our Facebook page to be much more effective than any petition could be,” Oken said. “Trudeau’s going to see our YouTube and be all like, ‘They got how many views? We gotta get on this!’ And then he’ll let us go.”

Beyond that, the club’s only other agenda is in regards to the leadership of the new Montana.

“Obviously, we want Hannah herself to be its empress,” Oken said. “The whole country would be in honour of Disney Channel’s best original series. But obviously, if it’s what the people want, I would be her vice-prince.”

When asked about what implications an Albertan separation would have on Treaties 6, 7 and 8, Oken said, “Huh?”

This article is part of our humour section.

Hiring | Staff | Advertising | Contact | PDF version | Archive | Volunteer | SU

The Gauntlet