A new survey conducted by the Angus Reid Institute has a few notable findings.
Among them is the finding that the Western provinces feel alienated from the rest of Canada. The recent survey intended to gauge inter-provincial sentiment by asking respondents from all over Canada the following question: “are there any provinces that you feel are especially close or friendly toward your province.”
While there is a strong feeling of unity among most of the Western provinces, there is the exception of British Columbia.
lbertans feel especially close to Saskatchewan, as 76 percent of respondents said they felt close to the province. That was the warmest sentiment toward another province recorded in the entire poll. Thirty-nine percent also said they felt close toward Manitoba.
Manitobans felt very close to Saskatchewan, as 63 percent of them said they feel the province is close or friendly toward them.
While British Columbian’s feel close to Albertans (31 percent), only 19 percent of Albertans feel the same way. The authors of the study commented that this might be explained by competing interests on the matters of energy and pipelines.
Speaking to Global News, executive director of the Angus Reid Institute Shachi Kurl said this:
“You’ve got B.C. that’s come through an economic downturn less scathed than Alberta, you’ve had Albertans dealing with a perfect storm of some really dreadful economic blows over the last couple of years.”
“The Fort McMurray fires, the economic crisis going back to 2008, and of course the plunge in oil prices, have all had a very devastating effect on the psyche or the mindset of Albertans… When they hear British Columbians are not supportive of you getting your natural resources to market, it is something that indeed frustrates them.”
Interestingly, British Columbia felt most alienation of all the provinces. Forty-three percent of respondents said that they felt no province was close or friendly toward them. Sharing this sentiment were Ontarians, forty-one percent of whom said the same.
There is something that almost all of the provinces seem to agree about: they do not share warm feeling toward Quebec. Only one percent of Albertans said they feel close to Quebec, two percent in Saskatchewan, three percent in Manitoba, and from six to 12 percent in the rest of the provinces.
Quebecers, on the other hand, didn’t feel nearly as negatively toward other provinces. They also felt closest to Ontario, with 44 percent of respondents saying they feel close to the province.
When asked which province is least close or unfriendly to them, most provinces named Quebec.
“The country is not feeling very much like a family,” Kurl said, drawing a general conclusion from the results of the study.
“It’s feeling like blocks of factions within the sibling relationship, where you’ve got one or two ganging up here, one doing their own thing, four that don’t have a problem with each other, but don’t talk to them about the rest of the country.”