One-in-Four Albertans Support Becoming an Independent Nation

The idea of independence is more appealing to the province’s residents if Saskatchewan and British Columbia join in.

Vancouver, BC [February 16, 2021] – Support for the formation of a country independent of Canada grows in both Alberta and Saskatchewan if British Columbia is included in the territory, a new Research Co. poll has found.

The online survey of a representative sample of Canadians in the three western provinces gauged support for sovereignty under various scenarios.

The idea of an independent country that would encompass British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan is appealing to 29% of both Albertans and Saskatchewanians, but only to 12% of British Columbians.

Almost half of Albertans who voted for the United Conservative Party (UCP) in the 2019 provincial election (47%), more than a third of men in Saskatchewan (35%) and almost three-in-ten residents of Northern BC (28%) voice support for an independent country encompassing the three western provinces.

In this survey, one-in-four Albertans (25%) are in favour of their province becoming a country independent from Canada. This level of support is consistent with what was observed in similar questions asked by Research Co. in December 2018 (25%) but lower than the numbers registered in July 2019 (30%).

Fewer than one-in-six residents of Saskatchewan (16%) and British Columbia (12%) are in favour of their respective provinces becoming sovereign on their own.

When asked about the possibility of an independent nation encompassing Alberta and Saskatchewan, one-in-four Albertans (26%) and one-in-five Saskatchewanians (21%) are in favour.

Only 13% of British Columbians agree with the prospect of forming a sovereign nation with Alberta. While 18% of Albertans support their province joining the United States, only 7% of British Columbians concur.

Residents of the three provinces were also asked about their perceptions of specific levels of government. At least three-in-five Saskatchewanians (62%) and British Columbians (60%) consider their own provincial government as “very responsive” or moderately responsive” to their needs and the needs of other residents. In Alberta, only 43% of respondents feel the same way.

“In Alberta, the criticism towards the provincial government is not coming exclusively from supporters of opposition parties,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “Half of those who voted for the UCP in 2019 (50%) believe that the current administration is responsive, but two-in-five (41%) do not.”

The responsiveness of local governments was rated positively by majorities of residents in each of the three provinces (64% in Saskatchewan, 60% in British Columbia and 58% in Alberta). 

While more than two-in-five British Columbians (45%) believe the federal government is responsive to their needs, the proportion drops to 32% in Alberta and 26% in Saskatchewan.

Results are based on an online study conducted from February 7 to February 9, 2021, among 800 adults in British Columbia, 600 adults in Alberta and 600 adults in Saskatchewan. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region in each province. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is +/- 3.5 percentage points for British Columbia and +/- 4.0 percentage points for Alberta and Saskatchewan, nineteen times out of twenty.

Find our data tables for British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan and download the press release here. 

For more information on this poll, please contact:

Mario Canseco, President, Research Co.