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Fractured federation - Angus Reid Institute - 24 Jan 19


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Fractured federation: Amid competing priorities, which provinces believe they give & get more from Canada? - 24 Jan 19
    Grievances in Western Canada & ambivalence towards Quebec highlight difficult interprovincial dynamics
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January 24, 2019 – One of the common threads of Canadian history is the palpable tension between provinces and regions. While violent rebellions in Upper and Lower Canada are left to history, modern domestic turmoil often takes the form of economic debates and policy protests.

The latest study from the Angus Reid Institute – the second in a four-part series exploring and measuring the nature and dynamics of Western Canadian identity – finds a long-held sense of alienation continues to pervade significant segments of Canada’s population west of Ontario.

Indeed, the percentage of residents in the West claiming that provinces treat them unfairly is significantly higher than the percentage saying this in the east. A simmering frustration with Ontario – and particularly Ottawa – within Alberta and Saskatchewan drives much of this, while a disconnect between Quebec and the Prairies carries significant import as well.

Half of Canadians (53%), including one-in-five Quebecers themselves (21%), say that Quebec takes more from Canada than it offers in return. On the other end of the spectrum, one-in-three Canadians (32%) say that Alberta is giving more than it receives as a part of confederation.

For its part, Quebec holds the distinction as the province with the least positive sentiment coming from outside its own borders. Even in Ontario, the province four-in-ten Quebecers (44%) say they have affection for, just one-in-ten residents (12%) say they feel the same way about Quebec.

Meanwhile, the West is hardly a unified front on the matter of inter-provincial admiration. While Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba each give each other high praise, only one-in-five in each province say they get a fair shake from British Columbia.

More Key Findings:
- British Columbia appears relatively isolated in the federation of Canadian provinces. Three-in-ten say their province has a close relationship with Alberta – the highest number chosen among B.C. residents – but four-in-ten (43%) say their province doesn’t have any especially close relationships.

- Alberta and Saskatchewan residents feel a kinship with each other and Manitoba, but four-in-ten in each of those provinces say that they feel they get the cold shoulder from Ontario, and three-quarters in each say the same of Quebec.

- Atlantic Canadian provinces all voice a significant level of friendliness with each other. Additionally, there is a strong perceived relationship between Alberta and the Atlantic region.

- Discontent in Quebec is driven largely by men. The percentage of men in Quebec who feel hostility from Alberta reaches two-thirds (67%), while it passes one-third (36%) among women.


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