You've asked for it. I delivered.
Jay Hill has been one of the most requested Gunn Show guests in the history of the show. Almost every day, I get an email from someone who wants me to interview Hill, the interim leader of the Maverick Party.
The emails I'm receiving are not the usual “Hey, can you interview this guy because I really agree with him?” requests that I normally get.
These emails are from people who are curious about the new Maverick Party which styles itself as a Western regional separatist party, something akin to the Bloc Québécois.
The curiosity and interest in a federal Western separatist party in my email inbox aligns with recent polling data about the rise of Western separatism.
A ThinkHQ poll from October 2019 suggested:
Sixty-nine per cent of those surveyed say they empathize with separatist sentiment, 23 per cent say they’d vote to secede from Canada — the majority of them Conservative supporters.
The poll shows 59 per cent would opt to remain in Canada, with a further 17 per cent undecided.
Seventy-one per cent of respondents saying federal government priorities have hurt Alberta.
With a federal Liberal government that seems hell-bent on earning Eastern votes off the backs of Westerners, and a federal Conservative Party that many, including me, feels entitled to westerners votes regardless of their performance or policies, the ground is fruitful for the growth of a serious separatist party.
I'm curious. I'm open-minded. But I've got questions. For example: how does a western separatist party address accusations of helping the Liberals through vote splitting?
Tonight Jay Hill, former Harper cabinet minister, sits down with me tonight for a full length interview to discuss why he came out of retirement to lead Maverick, what Maverick hopes to achieve, and how Maverick plans to position itself in the next federal election.