Posted on February 13, 2020
Half of Canadians believe Canada
is in the midst of a national unity crisis
More than 80 per cent of Canadians are unaware of
Alberta’s financial contribution to Canada
CALGARY, Feb. 13, 2020 – A research study released by Navigator Ltd. found that 51 per cent of Canadians believe Canada is in the midst of a national unity crisis. Further, one-third of Canadians believe Alberta is the largest threat to national unity, second only to Quebec (50%).
“What we’re seeing is a real desire and acceptance across the provinces for greater provincial power and autonomy in response to concerns about national unity,” says Randy Dawson, Managing Principal at Navigator Ltd. “The West wants to be heard, but most of all, they want a federal government that acts on their concerns.”
Nationally, more than half of Canadians feel that the federal government has lost touch with their province, ranging from 77 per cent in Alberta to 57 per cent in Quebec. A significant number (38%) of Canadians also believe Albertans and Saskatchewanians have a legitimate reason to want to separate from Canada.
There is a significant division in Canada on the issues of national unity, particularly between Alberta and Quebec. With regard to the energy sector, Albertans want more pipelines built, but they do not want to stifle green energy at the expense of oil. Nearly two-thirds of Albertans and Quebecers believe more investment in solar and wind energy is beneficial; however, 74 per cent of Albertans and only 25 per cent of Quebecers agree more oil pipelines should be built. (For the rest of the country, the number is 49%.)
Perhaps most concerning from Alberta’s standpoint is that less than 20 per cent of Canadians are aware of the economic contributions Alberta makes to Canada.
“As the Prime Minister attempts to weave a balance between the environment and the economy, he does so against a backdrop of a potential national unity crisis in a minority parliament,” says Dawson. “This will be further exacerbated by issues that will define these challenges and test his national leadership on issues such as the impending Teck Frontier mine decision.”
More than 2,500 Canadians participated in the national survey from Jan. 3 to 10, 2020.