The federal budget has survived its non-confidence votes meaning it hasn’t triggered a federal election.
However, many believe an election is in the offing and that means parties have to be ready. The Maverick Party, which was spawned out of the old Wexit Party, is gearing up and has a candidate for the Prince George-Peace River-Northern Rockies riding.
Dave Jeffers is a businessman from Fort St. John and is hoping to win the seat formerly held by the party’s interim leader, Jay Hill.
The focus for the party is that western Canada doesn’t get its fair shake in Confederation and the party’s goal is to either get that fair shake or separate from Canada.
“Western Canada is frustrated,” said Jeffers. “In fact, our desire to work it through according to the rules has delayed the inevitable for far too long. We can’t get our resources to markets that desperately want them. We pay ‘equalization’ based on a formula that purposely puts one province ahead of another. Our own government blocks any potential path to prosperity with regulations and inane restrictions that only apply to one portion of the country. How is it fair that the rules for the East Coast are so fundamentally different than for the West Coast?”
The Maverick Party looks to Quebec as an example of how a federal party can represent a separate region of the country and push that region’s interests on the national stage.
“Quebec has 78 seats in the house,” said Jeffers. “They are currently governed by the Bloc with 32 … They do this with intent and are unapologetic in their quest to represent Quebec’s interest only. Mavericks will be representing the best interests of the west. A minority government must work with other parties to get results. With a minority government, the party with the most seats has to work with the west and make attempts to get westerners what they need, what the world wants, and allow us to prosper again.”
Maverick Party MPs will cast every vote in the House of Commons based on what is best for the West, he said.
“When politicians are beholden to a national party that must gain seats in Central Canada, they must forfeit the needs and wants of the West in order to placate the east where the majority of the seats are,” he said. “The 104 seats in Western Canada currently show more than 70 per cent of us already stand together, can shift the balance of power, change the game.”
Conservative Bob Zimmer was elected to his third term as MP in the riding in the 2019 election. Zimmer succeeded Hill, who held the seat from 1993 to 2010 first as a Reform Party of Canada MP, then Canadian Alliance, and finally Conservative. Prime Minister Stephen Harper attended Hill’s retirement party in 2010.
Jeffers has had career working with science-based companies trying to improve all aspects of resource development. Prior to entering the business community in northeast B.C., Jeffers and his wife Michele travelled all over North America competing in the sport of rodeo. They have two daughters.
The Maverick Party website lists six candidates so far, four in Alberta, one in Saskatchewan and aone in B.C.