The independent nation of Alberta sounds good to one in four Albertans, according to a recent survey.
Research Co. polled 600 adult Albertans earlier this month and found 25 per cent support separating from Canada and becoming an independent nation.
That number has been relatively consistent in recent years. In July 2019, 30 per cent of Albertans favoured independence and in December 2018, 25 per cent were in favour.
Pollsters also took a look at viewpoints in B.C., where 800 adults were polled, and in Saskatchewan where 600 were asked their thoughts on independence and other issues.
The independence streak is much stronger in Alberta than its neighbours. Only 16 per cent in Saskatchewan and 12 per cent in B.C. wanted to become an independent nation.
Besides a standalone Alberta nation, pollsters also asked what people thought of an independent nation comprised of Alberta and Saskatchewan. Twenty-six per cent of Albertans and 21 per cent of Saskatchewan residents were in favour of that partnership.
Asked about an Alberta-B.C. nation, only 13 per cent of British Columbians supported that idea.
When an Alberta-B.C.-Saskatchewan nation was suggested, 29 per cent of Albertans and Saskatchewans were in favour but only 12 per cent of British Columbians.
Among those who voted for the United Conservative Party in the last election, 47 per cent support the three-province nation, compared with 10 per cent among NDP supporters.
Nearly one in five — 18 per cent — of Albertans support joining the U.S. In B.C., only six per cent want to become a 51st state.
Pollsters also tried to get a snapshot of Western province residents perceptions of federal, provincial and municipal government.
In Alberta, 43 per cent of respondents described their provincial government as very or moderately responsible, compared with 62 per cent in Saskatchewan and 60 per cent in B.C.
“In Alberta, the criticism towards the provincial government is not coming exclusively from supporters of opposition parties,” says Research Co. president Mario Canseco.
Half of those who voted for the UCP believe Premier Jason Kenney’s government is responsive while 41 per cent do not.
Asked whether the federal government is responsive, 32 per cent in Alberta said it was, 26 per cent in Alberta and 45 per cent in B.C.
Opinions were much higher of local government. In Alberta, 58 per cent said they were responsive, 64 per cent in Saskatchewan and 60 per cent in B.C.
The online study was conducted from Feb. 7-9 and is accurate to within +/- 3.5 per cent for B.C. and +/- four per cent in Alberta and Saskatchewan.