A movement to have Alberta join the U.S. as the 51st state has surfaced in recent weeks. Alberta USA Foundation, a Leduc-based organization, has been campaigning to separate Alberta from Canada. Their CEO, Peter Downing, told Narcity why he thinks Alberta should say goodbye to Canada and join the U.S. 

"It's a simple demographic and economic equation," he said. 

According to Downing, a mass of baby boomers will be retiring in Canada, "particularly Ontario and Quebec," in the next couple of years. 

When they retire, they're going to be paying "drastically less" taxes and will be "drawing down our social services, particularly health care services."

Therefore, Downing thinks that in order to fund those retirees' standard of living, Alberta's going to be footing a large chunk of the bill as it has a larger, younger, working force.

"If we think we're overtaxed and overregulated right now," he said. "We haven't seen anything yet."

"In order for Albertans to even maintain their standard of living, we have to leave Canada," said Downing. 

The Wexit founder thinks the U.S. already has a ready-made solution to accommodate Alberta's needs. 

Downing said that the Conservatives take the Albertan vote for granted at the moment.

"We'd be quite a bit more middle-of-the-road in America. We'd be a very coveted, fought-over swing state, much like Ohio or Florida," he said. 

Downing emphasized that health-care options are limited in Alberta at the moment whereas in the States they're able to "pick and choose" how they deliver their programs. 

Albertans won't have to endure long wait times or inefficient surgery schedules in the U.S., said Downing. 

As for typically Canadian things that Albertans might not be as connected with, such as beavers, hockey, or Tim Hortons?

"Those things aren't important enough or strong enough to mortgage my family and my children's future. The majority of Albertans feel the same way," he said. 

Downing said that the campaign has been focused on building awareness so far; they've placed a couple of billboards around Edmonton and Ottawa. 

The ultimate goal would be to have a referendum in Alberta that would put the independence question front and centre. "We would certainly need a referendum, the public would certainly have to express their wishes, we can't take away the political right from national self-determination," he told us. 

Downing said his latest billboard is specifically designed for "immigrant and faith-based communities."

He said that many immigrants are drawn to his separation campaign. "Many immigrants to Alberta, America was their first choice. You might not think it, but the newcomer, immigrant and faith communities in Alberta are wildly in support of joining the United States." 

Downing said that 40-48% of Albertans support independence right now, "depending on how the question is asked." 

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