Separation Party of Alberta - Message From the Founder
-mailed September 2005
It has been said the Separation Party of Alberta accomplished in 16 months that which took the Parti
Quebecois 16 years to achieve. It has also been said that we have the cart before the horse – forming the
political party before the movement gains strength.
I don’t know if we have the cart before the horse given the fact that a recent poll commissioned by the
Western Standard indicates that 43% of Albertans are willing to discuss separation. I believe the growth of
the Party is a matter of educating Albertans and putting them in a position to make an informed decision
I certainly know that we have made mistakes or errant assumptions along the way. The first incorrect
assumption was that the gathering of signatures to register the Party would be easy. People didn’t want to
put their name on a petition to form a separatist party even though many of them agreed that there was a
definite need. Had the Alberta First Party not become available, I believe the Separation Party of Alberta
would not be registered today.
The second errant assumption was that the media would be interested in our undertakings. When we held
our press conference in March 2003 to announce that we were going to try to form a separatist party, all the
media attended. When we held our press conference in June 2004 to announce that we were a registered
Provincial Political Party no media showed up. This was a lesson in reality. Going to a press conference for
Federal Liberal MP, Anne McLellan was more important than attending a Separation Party of Alberta press conference.
As political neophytes, our biggest mistake was putting a party constitution in place before there was an
acknowledged movement, a registered party and a sizeable membership. We formed the Society as required
by law and put together a set of By-laws for that Society. We created a Constitution and unfortunately the
two documents contain conflicting by-laws and articles. This has created problems. Certainly we had
honorable intentions but it now seems that the Constitution hinders the development of the Party.
We have over 700 members and a volunteer board in place but it is impossible to elect a new Board if we
follow our Constitution. Five of our Directors are regional and elected at the Constituency level. We don’t
have enough Constituency Associations throughout the Province and therefore, we can’t have an election for
I became the Leader of this Party reluctantly when Ralph Klein called the snap election in the fall of 2004.
The newly formed Party couldn’t go into the election without a leader and I was appointed by the Board of
Directors and the Founding Committee. Personally, I am excited about the thoughts of a Leadership Race
for this Party and the criterion for any leadership hopefuls have been clearly laid out by the Provincial Board
of Directors and the Constitution.
It appears there are some people who perceive themselves as aspiring leaders but they are reluctant to do any
work for the Party and have made no effort to meet the leadership candidate requirements. The Provincial
Board of Directors wants the strongest, most dynamic Leader possible for this Party and that is why a
detailed set of requirements and undertakings exists. Frankly, compared to the “old line” parties, our
requirements for Leadership Candidates are minimal. They are currently under review and will be updated
and upgraded in the near future. Anyone can bid for the leadership of this Party. All they have to do is show
their enthusiasm and leadership abilities as a part of the SPA Team.
The Societies Act dictates that there must be an Annual General Meeting and our By-Laws mandate that it
will be the last weekend in October or the first weekend in November. The Constitution mandates that there
will be a Provincial Convention every 2 years. In fact, that means there should be a Party Convention in
2005 but there isn’t going to be a Party Convention this year. We are going to conduct what Party business
we can at the Annual General Meeting of the Separation Party of Alberta Association, the Society that runs
the Party. The Provincial Board is disappointed that we are not having a Convention and a Leadership Race
but here are the reasons; small membership, very few Associations out of the 83 constituencies; no
leadership candidates and the kicker – no money.
We have considerable work to do in a short period of time – 2 to 2 ˝ years. The Board of Directors have
agreed with my request not to hold a Provincial Convention this year in the hopes that Leadership Candidates
will come forward and a Leadership race and Provincial Convention can be held jointly in 2006.
Realistically speaking, it will take an aspiring leadership hopeful that long to organize. I would hope that
those aspiring leaders will get in touch with Bill Humphrey, our Director in charge of the Constituency
Association Committee and help him to organize at the Constituency level. If we don’t organize at the
Constituency level, there won’t be a Leadership race or Provincial Convention in 2006 either.
There are some people in the Province who are purporting to be separatists. Apparently, some of these
people have aspirations to be Leader of the Party. The Board of Directors strongly urges anyone wishing to
be Leader to study the Constitution, get on the team (become a member), put your efforts towards a
successful separatist movement, and support the Separation Party of Alberta.
At the Annual General Meeting on October 29, 2005, I will be asking the membership of the Separation
Party of Alberta Association (the same people who are members of the Separation Party of Alberta) to
suspend the Constitution of the Party until our membership reaches 1500 people or until suitable leadership
candidates meet the Party requirements, whichever comes first. I will also be asking the membership to
acclaim the current Board of Directors for one year.
I know we are on the right path. But we cannot and will not be successful without financing. I am asking
you to make a tax deductible donation to SPA to assist us in moving the Party forward. Everyone working
for SPA including the Provincial Board are volunteers. There are no paid employees so your donation will
be used exclusively to advance our message and develop at the grassroots level.
Finally, let me say we must continue to present our message in a factual, calm, rational manner without
emotional rhetoric. Remember this – united we can become a formidable force – divided we are doomed to
Please donate what you can afford and also consider helping us organize a meeting in your area.
Thank you for your support.
R.B. (Bruce) Hutton
Separation Party of Alberta