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Western Financial Group Inc. To make Normal Course Issuer Bid

(TSX-WES, WES.DB.A) - Western Financial Group Inc. ("the Company") has received the necessary regulatory approval to make a normal course issuer bid through the facilities of the Toronto Stock Exchange.
The Company has been authorized to repurchase: (i) a maximum of 1,538,699 of its common shares, representing approximately 5% of the 30,773,998 issued and outstanding common shares as at April 20, 2006; and (ii) a maximum of $548,715 in aggregate principal amount of 9% convertible unsecured subordinated debentures, representing 5% of the $10,974,300 aggregate principal amount of 9% debentures issued and outstanding as at April 20, 2006. All common shares and 9% debentures purchased by the Company pursuant to the bid will be cancelled. The duration of the issuer bid shall extend for a period commencing on May 2, 2006 and ending on May 1, 2007 or on such earlier date as the Company may complete its purchases thereunder.
The Company believes that, from time to time, the repurchase of its common shares and 9% debentures represents an appropriate use of its funds. The Company has not purchased any of its Common Shares or 9% Debentures in the past 12 months.

The Common Shares of the Company are traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol "WES" and the 9% Debentures trade under the stock symbol "WES.DB.A".

Western Financial Group is one of the leading western-based financial service companies in Western Canada. With offices in towns and small cities across the West, the Company provides more than 250,000 customers with insurance, investment and banking products through WFG Agency Network, Western Life, and Bank West.

For further information, please contact:

Jodi Greig, Corporate Communications Manager
Western Financial Group
403-652-2663

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