VIDEO: [True North] Trudeau’s approach to Alberta is damaging national unity. [Dec 23, 2018]
That’s according to a massive new survey from the Environics Institute, which confirms a widespread impression that Western alienation has gotten worse since Justin Trudeau became Prime Minister. Add a persistent malaise in Atlantic Canada, and the survey depicts an uneasy Confederation on the heels of its 150th anniversary.
The poll, which asked more than 5,000 people about their attitudes toward the country between December and January, found a federation feeling more provincial. The proportion of Canadians who said their province or region is important to their sense of self rose from 69 per cent to 77 per cent in the past decade and a half, even as talk of Quebec separatism has cooled.
That change has been paired with a growing sense of disillusionment with the country’s federal arrangements in the East and West alike. The Canadians most likely to feel they lack a fair share of influence over how the country is run live in Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, Saskatchewan and Alberta.
The findings should serve as a wake-up call to Ottawa’s political elite and spur reforms that decentralize power, said Donald Savoie, the Canada Research Chair in Public Administration and Governance at the University of Moncton.
“What you’re seeing in Western Canada and Atlantic Canada – it’s the start,” he said. “I don’t think people in the Ottawa bubble get it. But it’s going to bite.”