It was reported by La Presse today that people who live in the Prairie provinces — particularly Alberta — are less happy to be part of Canada than people in Quebec. According to a study of 5,000 Canadians, Albertans are twice as likely to be dissatisfied with the state of Canada as the Québécois, with 43 per cent of Albertans believing that the Western provinces should take their own path, while only 20 per cent of Québécois considering themselves “mainly sovereignist.” The most divisive issues are energy (petroleum specifically) and environmental issues.
The majority of Alberta residents (63 per cent) report that they are not treated with respect within Canada, and 59 per cent of Saskatchewan residents feel the same way — a much larger proportion than in Quebec, the study suggests. But despite this negative view of federalism — and the re-emergence of the provincial Wildrose party as the Wildrose Independence Party of Alberta (a merger of the province’s Freedom Conservative Party and “Wexit”) — it’s not clear that Albertans really embrace the idea of an independent state the way many Québécois once did (and some still do). ■
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