Most British Columbians See Province as Unique Within Canada

Four-in-five residents are proud of where they live, but only one-in-five believe BC would be better off as its own country.

Vancouver, BC [August 9, 2023] – British Columbians continue to see themselves as fundamentally different from residents of other Canadian provinces, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative provincial sample, 80% of British Columbians say they are very proud of the province that they live in, down two points since a similar Research Co. poll conducted in August 2022.

A majority of British Columbians (57%, -2) believe their views are different from the rest of Canada, but only one-in-five (20%, +1) think the province would be better off as its own country.

Almost three-in-five British Columbians (58%, -4) think the province’s residents have more in common with the people of Seattle and Portland than with those in Toronto or Montreal.

“There is no generation gap in the affinity of British Columbians towards Cascadia,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “Majorities of residents aged 18-to-34 (57%), aged 35-to-54 (58%) and aged 55 and over (59%) feel the same way about their counterparts in Washington State and Oregon.”

More than seven-in-ten British Columbians (73%, +1) think they will stay in the province for the rest of their lives. The proportion is lower among those aged 18-to-34 (59%).

Compared to 2022, there is little fluctuation in a question related to nationality. More than three-in-five respondents (62%, -1) say they are “Canadians first, and British Columbians second”, while 21% (-1) consider themselves “British Columbians first, and Canadians second.”

When asked about the best premier the province has had since 1986, three-in-ten British Columbians (30%, =) select John Horgan. Gordon Campbell is second with 8% (+1), followed by Christy Clark (7%, =) and Mike Harcourt (6%, =).

Christy Clark is the worst recent head of government for British Columbians (19%, =), followed by Campbell (13%, +3), Glen Clark (8%, =) and Bill Vander Zalm (7%, -1).

Methodology: Results are based on an online study conducted from July 29 to August 1, 2023, among 800 adults in British Columbia. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region in British Columbia. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is +/- 3.5 percentage points, nineteen times out of twenty.

Find our data tables here and download the press release here. 

For more information on this poll, please contact:

Mario Canseco, President, Research Co.

778.929.0490 [e]