PEACE RIVER–WESTLOCK – Long-time Valleyview oilfield operator Colin Krieger has thrown his hat in with the Maverick Party, a group pushing for a stronger western voice in confederation with an eye towards western independence.
New to politics, Krieger says he was drawn to the Maverick Party because of the party’s strong stance on western independence and was invited to run for the Peace River-Westlock riding in the federal election. Election day is Sept. 20 with advance polls opening Sept. 10-13.
“The Maverick Party was formed because we believe that we need a strong, dedicated voice in Ottawa that we haven’t had in a very long time. The Maverick Party is going to do that by being a regional party. We are only going to run candidates in western Canada, being Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and British Columbia. We are only running candidates in the west because the issues that we need to speak to are not always popular in the east, which exactly why national federal parties like the Conservative party can’t speak to all of the issues that the west needs to have addressed," he said."Things like equalization. They will talk about things that are not popular in the west like carbon taxes and they do that so they can gain support in the east. A Maverick candidate will never do that, a Maverick candidate will only ever be responsible to his constituents because we are western based.”
Krieger says he wants to secure a future for his children and grandchildren and a strong western voice is necessary to do so.
"I was given the opportunity to become a voice — not necessarily to be somebody important because that’s not what I want, I want to do something that’s important. I want to be involved in something that is important, and the Maverick Party is that for me.”
The Maverick Party runs no candidates in eastern provinces which Krieger says allow the party to focus exclusively on western issues, including the carbon tax and equalization.
“My belief is that people have been looking for an alternative for a while. The Maverick party offers a clear choice from a conservative mindset, and we will be a party that will choose them first no matter what.”
If elected, Krieger promised to voice western concerns in Ottawa and help the party move towards western independence, up to and including statehood. These steps include provinces policing themselves rather than relying on the RCMP and removing Alberta from the Canadian Pension Plan.
“I’m not against the RCMP but we believe the provinces should be policing themselves, much as they are already doing in Ontario and Quebec as well. We could do that, that would be one layer of independence between us and them. And another thing we could do from a provincial standpoint that would be very good for Albertans is to remove ourselves from the Canadian Pension Plan and start up our own pension plan. It would put a large amount of pressure on Ottawa to treat us fairly.”
He says that these steps towards independence could eventually lead into statehood for the western provinces, one of the Maverick Party’s goals.
“The East is addicted to our money, and we don’t get any support from them on any of our issues. Recently Erin O’Toole said from a stage that Energy East is off the table. In the west that is how we make money, the money that Quebec takes from us through equalization. It comes from our resource economy and it’s unfair. If that is how things are going to be, then we need to start looking after ourselves. These different layers of western independence, like bringing in our own pension plan, like instituting our own police force. There’s a number of things we can do, up to and including full western statehood.”