Alberta Post-election study: What Albertans want from their New Premier
Posted on April 25, 2019
CALGARY, AB – April 25/19 – Navigator Ltd. conducted a series of focus groups and in-depth interviews with voters from across the province revealing Albertans want Kenney to act quickly and aggressively against the federal government, other provincial jurisdictions and anyone else standing in the way of the pipeline being built. Ultimately they saw the vote as a referendum on two very different tactics to build the pipelines – Rachel Notley’s “misguided diplomacy” vs. Jason Kenney’s “gloves off” approach.
“It’s as if everyone’s economic anxiety crystalized into a singular focus, that pipelines were seen as the only path available to achieve economic recovery,” says Jaime Watt, Executive Chairman at Navigator Ltd. “The sting from this current economic downturn is being felt even more acutely by Albertans because they also feel some other provinces, notably Quebec and British Columbia, along with the federal government, have turned their back on them in their hour of need.”
Albertans said they rallied in unprecedented numbers to deliver Kenney the majority because they believe he will “take the gloves off” to get the job done including:
- Restricting Alberta’s oil and gas shipments to B.C.;
- Fighting the carbon tax with Sask., Manitoba, Ontario and New Brunswick; and
- Holding a referendum on Alberta’s equalization payments to Ottawa.
Voters said they perceived the federal government as being “neglectful, patronizing and unhelpful” during the economic downturn and that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau does “not care about Alberta.”
“Alberta voters told us that they are proud Canadians. However they simply don’t understand why Alberta’s contributions to the Canadian economy through equalization, federal taxation, employment and clean ethical energy are not understood and appreciated,” said Jason Hatcher Managing Principal at Navigator Ltd. “While Albertans prefer that the provinces and the federal government find an amicable solution, patience has run out. They want action and real progress. Albertans have empowered the Kenney government with a mandate to use every tool available including turning off the taps.”
Navigator’s research also reveals voters are keen to see Kenney make Alberta “open for business” by lowering corporate tax rates – a complete reversal from 2015, when even a majority of conservative voters backed Notley’s plan to raise corporate taxes, as well as revealing new insights about healthcare, provincial spending, deregulation, and social issues such as gay-straight alliances.
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The full report is available on Navigator’s website.