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Sask United and Buffalo Party vie for sovereigntist voters

June 30, 2024

A fundraising email from the Sask United Party calls for Saskatchewan to get the same privileges as Quebec, something the Buffalo Party has advocated for years.

In an email sent Thursday, Sask United leader Jon Hromek called for supporters to build the party's war chest.

"Imagine a Saskatchewan with boundless opportunities, where decisions are made by those who truly understand and cherish our unique spirit," Hromek said.

"If a strong and sovereign Saskatchewan is important to you, donate to Sask United today!"

The Quebec model would be just the beginning, he added.

"We believe the first step to a more sovereign Saskatchewan is being granted the same rights and privileges as Quebec. We will seek the same special status within the Confederation and secure greater control over our own affairs," the email stated.

"This would mean more power over natural resources, immigration, cultural issues, and opting out of federal programs that don’t serve our best interests."

Sask United says partnership with its western neighbour is also part of the plan.

"We're passionate about the strength found in teamwork and excited about the possibilities in a partnership with Alberta," the email states. "We can fuel economic development, spark innovation, and build resilient economies by joining forces.” 

"It's a path that promises a thriving future for our provinces, side by side. Imagine joint initiatives in energy, infrastructure, trade, and skills training, all working to build a stronger Western Canada.”

The Buffalo Party came into existence through momentum for similar ideas after the Trudeau Liberals were re-elected in 2019. Initially named Wexit Saskatchewan — as a nod to the Brexit movement that took Britain out of the UK — it rebranded itself as the Buffalo Party in 2020. The new name was derived from the early twentieth century proposal to create one large province called Buffalo that would encompass most of Western Canada.

In an email to Western Standard, Buffalo Party Leader Phil Zajac said his party already "stands firm on a lot of these ideas" touted by Sask United.

The party received 2.6% of the Saskatchewan vote in 2020 despite not running candidates in 44 of 61 districts. The party placed second to the Saskatchewan Party in Cypress HillsKindersleyCannington, and Estevan, where Zajac ran.

One resolution of the party calls for a special policy committee of members to be elected by the party membership to examine and draft policies in preparation for Saskatchewan's autonomy from the federal government.

Buffalo's policy page covers 13 different areas. The intergovernmental relations page calls for provincial control of immigration, taxation, and replace the Canada Pension Plan with a Saskatchewan version. It would also give every Saskatchewan resident a voting share in each Crown Corporation that would give people dividends and shareholder voting rights.

"We have been saying for four years that we will negotiate a better deal with the federal government than what Quebec has done," Zajac said.

"We are the only party having town halls and speaking with residents and listening to their concerns. We are doing the work that current politicians are not willing to do until it is election time."

Under its autonomy page, the party promises to adopt English as Saskatchewan's official language, never issue lockdowns, prohibit institutions from requiring Digital ID, terminate all agreements with the UN that are bad for provincial residents, preserve parental authority in education, and "advocate for comprehensive, balanced counselling and education regarding gender dysphoria.”

The Saskatchewan election is scheduled for October 28.