PM faces pressure to address talk of western separation in first post-election newser

By Jaime Pulfer and The Canadian Press

OTTAWA – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will be in Ottawa today to make his first appearance since his election-night victory speech.

Trudeau and the Liberals were reduced to a minority government on Monday night, winning 157 seats, after a tumultuous six-week campaign.

Despite still forming government, the Grits lost ground in most areas of the country, with a resurgent Bloc Quebecois tripling its seats in la belle province and the Liberals shut out of Alberta and Saskatchewan.

Related article: Trudeau’s Liberals win, but fall short of majority in 2019 federal election

Trudeau spent Monday in Montreal, where he brought his wife, Sophie Gregoire Trudeau, and their three children to vote in his riding of Papineau, which he has represented since 2008.

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer and NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh both spoke publicly on Tuesday, the morning after election night. Trudeau spent that morning in his Montreal riding, shaking hands with commuters at a Metro station, thanking his constituents after some congratulated him on his win, and posing for photos when asked.

Growing sense of western alienation

The Liberals failed to win a single seat in Alberta and Saskatchewan — the area painted Conservative blue, except for an NDP riding in Edmonton.

“Pipeline’s aren’t just an infrastructure and finance issue,” explains Ted Morton with the University of Calgary’s School of Public Policy. “In Alberta, Saskatchewan, it’s a people issue. On the street, at Tim Hortons, people are hurting pretty badly.”

The premiers of Alberta and Saskatchewan are calling on the prime minister to implement Conservative-minded policies.

Saskatchewan’s Scott Moe says the fire of frustration now burning in the west can only be doused by Trudeau scrapping the federal carbon tax, reworking equalization, and getting oil pipelines built.

Related article: Newspaper headlines, world leaders’ tweets: Reaction to Trudeau’s win

Meantime, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney says Trudeau must avoid making any deals with the other parties that would endanger the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion.

In Wild Rose Country, separatist signs are now replacing election signs, all part of a rising movement now being described as “Wexit.”

“We need to start thinking a little bit more like Quebec, Alberta first,” one man told CityNews in Edmonton.

Trudeau is expected to speak on Wednesday afternoon.

The event will be live streamed on this website.

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