A new Ipsos poll has given another indicator of what many already suspected: The prairie provinces are more eager than ever to separate from the rest of Canada.
The exclusive poll conducted for Global News found that the majority of respondents in Alberta, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and in the Maritimes believe that Canada is “more divided than ever,” and according to Ipsos vice-president Kyle Braid, those numbers have reached “historic” heights, specifically in Alberta and Saskatchewan.
“This is really a story of two oil provinces that feel that they made a substantial contribution to the Canadian economy during the boom years and now feel when things are not going as well, they feel isolated, underappreciated, misunderstood by the rest of the country,” he said.
According to the study, “agreement that the country is more divided than ever is highest in … Alberta (79%) and Saskatchewan (77%). A majority of residents in the two other western provinces of Manitoba (58%) and BC (54%) also agree the country is divided, but their agreement is aligned with Ontario (56%) and Quebec (54%) and not their western neighbours. Two-thirds (66%) of Atlantic Canadians agree the country is more divided than ever.”
The poll surveyed 1,516 voting-age Canadians online between Oct. 24 and Nov. 1, 2019.
Among the other questions were “Canada is more divided than ever,” “my province would be better off if it separated from Canada,” and “I think the views of western Canadians are adequately represented in Ottawa.”
According to the poll, approximately one-third (33%) of Albertans surveyed and just over one-quarter (27%) of Saskatchewanians agree with the statement: “My province would be better off if it separated from Canada.”
That separatist ethos is up 8 points compared to last year’s numbers (from 25% to 33%,) and up 14 points from the 19 percent figure found in 2001. According to the survey, “a belief that Saskatchewan would be better off if it separated is up 9 points from just over a year ago (from 18% to 27%) and up 14 points from 2001 (was 13%).”
That separatist sentiment is rivalled only by the Quebecois, where 26 percent believe that their province would fair better by leaving Canada.