Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Western Independence Party
The party was founded in 1987 by a group of Albertans who were dissatisfied with the direction of another western separatist party, the Western Canada Concept (WCC). At the party's founding convention in October 1987 in Edmonton, Dr, Fred Marshall was elected interim leader. Marshall had previously run unsuccessfully for the leadership of the WCC in 1984.
The party also has or had provincial branches in each of the four provinces. The current status of the party's Alberta and Manitoba branches is unknown.
WIP of British Columbia
The British Columbia provincial party called the Western Independence Party of BC (WIPBC) was not a branch of WIP. WIPBC has renamed itself the Refederation Party of British Columbia (RefedBC), and now promotes political changes within Canada as its preference, with western independence being an option only if its campaign for political change is unsuccessful.
RefedBC has drafted the text of a Constitution of BC and the text of a BC Direct Democracy Act based on the Swiss model. These are aimed at creating what it describes as a de jure (lawful) BC government. The party claims that Canada's federal government and the Supreme Court of Canada are both "de facto" (unlawful), arguing that Canada has no lawful constitution. The party does not consider the Constitution Act of 1982 to be lawful. Consequently, the party argues that the canadian government is therefore illegal, as presently constituted.
External link: Refederation Party of BC website
Source: Dennis Shaw, president, Refederation Party of BC, firstname.lastname@example.org
WIP of Alberta
The WIP of Alberta appears to be defunct. The Separation Party of Alberta, which nominated candidates in the 2004 provincial election, now promotes the cause of separation in the province. The SPA issued a statement of support when the WIP of Saskatchewan was formed in 2003.
WIP of Saskatchewan
The Saskatchewan branch of the party nominated 17 candidates in the 2003 provincial election, but none were elected. It continues to be an active party under the leadership of Bruce Ritter of Yorkton, but does not intend to nominate candidates in federal elections.
Party policy was adopted at the founding convention and was expanded at a policy convention in Saskatoon in April 1988.
The party's basic policy statements were the following:
- independence as the only way Westerners could get political and economic justice;
- the constitutional right to private property;
- the citizen's right to referendum on major issues including the constitution and constitutional amendments;
- English as the official language; and
- an elected, equal and effective Senate.
WIP of Saskatchewan's Vision of an Independent Western Canada
- A prosperous low tax economy.
- Direct democracy.
- Separation of executive powers to end Prime Ministerial dictatorship.
- An elected accountable judiciary.
- Equality of treatment and opportunity for all people.
- An elected senate balancing popular representation with regional representation.
- English as the official language.
- A world class medical system.
- A justice system that stresses accountability.
- No gun registry.
- No Kyoto Accord.
- Property rights guaranteed in the constitution.
- List of Canadian political parties
- Secessionist movements of Canada
- Western Independence Party of Manitoba
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