As the legislative session resumed, Wexit Saskatchewan is looking to join the roster of registered parties in the province in anticipation of the 2020 election.
In a video posted on Saturday, Eric Wall, lead registration co-ordinator for Wexit Saskatchewan, said the application to register as a political party exceeded the requirements outlined by Elections Saskatchewan.
According to Wall the application had 3,599 signatures and more than 100 signatures from 12 constituencies. The minimum to qualify is 2,500 signatures and 100 signatures from 10 constituencies.
Posts from the unregistered party’s social media accounts often attack Premier Scott Moe and the Sask. Party for being “Liberal.”
“That’s not my job to worry about them,” said Moe, speaking to reporters on Monday. The premier said it’s for the people of the province to judge the policies put forward by Wexit parties, and he was more concerned about the only other party in the legislature.
Moe recognizes many people in the province are frustrated by Ottawa’s actions, but the Sask. Party has denied the possibility of a referendum on western separation, a sticking point for Wall.
“We threaten secession if there’s no equality in this confederation. Very polarized between the Sask. Party and what this new party stands for,” said Wall in an interview on Monday.
Opposition leader Ryan Meili said as much as he would like Sask. Party voters to take their vote to another party, “I hope people have no time for the Wexit Party.”
“Saskatchewan people know that we are better off in Canada,” said Meili.
He said if the party gains popularity here, the premier will be in part to blame. “He’s opened up this space of this alienation and pushing that idea that we might be better without Canada,” he added.
In Wall’s video, posted to the Wexit Saskatchewan Facebook page, he said, “We can’t let the liberals sneak in here under this disguise of Sask. Party.” Wall said part of the impetus to submit their registration comes as a result of not knowing when the provincial election will be held.
Since the party’s application is awaiting approval, Wall said there are no official candidates yet.
“Once we get the official party registration, then we can put the paperwork forward to register candidates,” said Wall.
Still, he said a number of people have reached out looking to run, and the party plans to run a candidate in each of Saskatchewan’s 61 constituencies. But Wexit Saskatchewan doesn’t have a leader, and a leadership convention is still needed.
In an emailed statement Elections Saskatchewan wouldn’t comment specifically on the application.
“In event that a political party is registered provincially, the Chief Electoral Officer will update the list of registered political parties on the Elections Saskatchewan website.”
“If a party reaches the requirements of The Election Act, 1996, there isn’t anything that would prevent the Chief Electoral Officer from recognizing the party and adding it to the list of registered parties,” it added.
— with files from Arthur White-Crummey