NEWS
03/03/2019 18:39 EST | Updated 03/03/2019 23:01 EST

Prairie Freedom Movement Billboards Appear In Saskatchewan Asking If Province Should Separate From Canada

"Oil and gas in Alberta has already been rocked and we're seeing the same thing going toward agriculture and meat production in Saskatchewan."

A group advocating for the prairies to separate from the rest of Canada has launched a series of billboards across Saskatchewan.

The Prairie Freedom Movement put up four billboards on Thursday that ask "should Saskatchewan leave Canada?"

Facebook/Prairie Freedom Movement
A billboard in Saskatchewan asking if the province should secede.

Three of the billboards are in Regina and one is in Saskatoon, according to Global News.

The movement's website says their goal is to "promote and grow interest towards an Independent Western Canada."

"Federal election campaigners will always appease those in the East simply because it is strategic," the website explains. "Taking into account the massive increase in immigration projections, and the fact that an overwhelming majority of immigrants settle within Ontario & Quebec, the direction of our Prairies will soon be determined by those who have just gained Canadian citizenship many of whom have never stepped foot in the Prairies or understand our economy."

Trudeau drives desire to secede: Downing

The group's spokesperson, former RCMP officer Peter Downing, told CBC News that the West has been getting a raw deal because it's used to bribe the East.

"Oil and gas in Alberta has already been rocked and we're seeing the same thing going toward agriculture and meat production in Saskatchewan," he told the broadcaster.

Facebook/Prairie Freedom Movement
A billboard in Calgary asks if the province should separate from Canada.

The billboards in Saskatchewan will be up for a week. Similar billboards advocating for Alberta to separate were also up a week before in that province.

Downing told the Regina Leader-Post that the current government was the biggest motivator for people in the Prairies to consider seceding.

"Justin Trudeau is the biggest driver of western separation," he said. "We don't really need to do anything. We just need to sit back."

But separation simply isn't practical, especially for exporting natural resources, University of Saskatchewan political studies professor Joe Garcea said in an interview with Global.

It's all about economics. People want greater economic security... I don't think they want to necessarily engage in something that could potentially compromise the economic security even more.Joe Garcea, University of Saskatchewan

"We would essentially be landlocked," Garcea said, adding that the uncertainty of separation could also make investors uneasy.

He also told CBC News that while contemplating separation would be a good way to vent and air grievances, it's too radical for most people to consider it a legitimate solution.

"It's all about economics. People want greater economic security," he told the broadcaster. "I don't think they want to necessarily engage in something that could potentially compromise the economic security even more."

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