A new poll from Ipsos Reid found that more Albertans would like to see their province separate than Quebecers.
The year-end poll on division and alienation found that 31% of Albertans believe their province would be better off independent, compared to just 26% in Quebec, a province with a long history of separatism.
Separatist sentiments in Alberta have increased throughout 2019. Another poll conducted by Abacus in August found that one in four Albertans want the province to separate from the rest of Canada.
Sean Simpson, Vice President of Public Affairs of Ipsos Reid, says the results indicate that Albertans are feeling extremely frustrated.
“For decades they were helping the rest of the country through equalization payments, and now they’re in their time of need and not getting really the one thing that they’re asking for,” says Sean Simpson, he said.
Ipsos Reid found that 57% of Canadians believe Canada is more divided than ever, including 78% in Alberta and 55% of Quebecers.
“That seems to be a very high bar because I can remember the 90s going through a referendum where we were 0.1 percentage points away from tearing this country apart. So the fact that 57% think we’re more divided than ever means that there’s a serious underlying issue here in Canada,” he added.
The Albertan economy has been in distress in recent years, largely due to a downturn in the energy sector.The federal government’s failure to assist the resource-based Western economy has led to the creation of a “Wexit” separatist movement.