Tuesday, March 25, 2003

Hutton: Alta. should split from Canada and buy nuclear subs

Archived news story:
    Canadian Press Newswire
    March 25, 2003

    Alta. should split from Canada and buy nuclear subs, says separatist group

    EDMONTON (CP) _ Nuclear submarines armed with long-range missiles could help Alberta gain international clout if the province were to secede from Canada, says the leader of a fledgling separatist group.

    ''One of the things that was suggested would be a couple of nuclear submarines moving around the world,'' Bruce Hutton told a news conference Tuesday.

    ''That makes us a formidable power. With the amount of money we've sent to Ottawa in the last six years, we could have nuclear submarines.''

    Hutton, a former Mountie who strongly opposed the national gun registry, said 5,000 signatures are still needed to give his Separation Party of Alberta official status in Alberta. Nonetheless, he is predicting they will win 11 seats in the next provincial election.

    Premier Ralph Klein has said he believes Albertans want to remain within the country.

    ''I strongly feel that Albertans want to be part of Canada and they want to be recognized as part of Canada. I don't think that they want to separate, they simply want their voice to be heard.''

    Although there is little desire for separation, Klein has said, his party will hold a panel discussion about it at its annual policy convention this weekend in Red Deer, Alta.