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Poll: Independence support growing in Alberta, Saskachewan

New poll shows even more Albertans think the province would be better off leaving Canada

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We’re not happy.

In fact, more Albertans than Quebeckers want to get out of Canada, a new poll shows.

The poll shows the October federal election has left the country more divided than ever – with Alberta and Saskatchewan feeling the most negative.

The Ipsos poll said “residents of those two provinces once again stand out when it comes to agreement with the statement that ‘I feel less committed to Canada than I did a few years ago.’”

A total of 38 per cent of Albertans agreed with the statement, an increase of four points from last year. In Saskatchewan it was 42 per cent, up 13 points.

In Quebec it was 29 per cent, Atlantic Canada was 22 per cent, Manitoban 20 per cent, Ontarians 18 per cent and people in B.C. at 17 per cent.

The poll showed 33 percent of Albertans and 27 per cent of Saskatchewan residents agree with the statement that ‘my province would be better off if it separated from Canada.’

The poll showed the number of Albertans wanting independence is increasing, up 8 points from just over a year ago and up 14 points from 2001.

In Quebec, only 26 per cent of people thought they would be better off if their province left Canada.

But the Ipso poll added “the mood in Alberta and Saskatchewan is one more of disappointment than outright anger, with most still rejecting that their province would be better off separated from Canada. Moreover, a surge in western alienation is limited to Alberta and Saskatchewan – the mood is far less negative in BC and Manitoba.”

Across the country, 59 per cent of respondents said Canada “was more divided than ever.” In Alberta it was 79 per cent, in Saskatchewan it was 77 per cent.

Albertans are overwhelmingly angry at it’s position in Canada with 65% of residents agreeing with the statement ‘my province does not get its fair share from Confederation’.

Atlantic Canada is the only other region where a majority (54%) of residents agree their province does not get its fair share from Confederation.

Equalization is also another sore spot with 71 per cent of Albertans not happy with the current system.

And the poll shows Albertans aren’t getting much sympathy from the rest of the country.

Asked if Alberta had good reason to feel mistreated by Ottawa, only a majority of Manitobans, at 54 per cent, agreed. In Atlantic Canada it was 47 per cent, Ontario, 45 per cent, B.C., 41 per cent and Quebec 33 per cent.

“One thing that unites Canadians from across all regions is a belief that their regional views are not adequately represented in Ottawa,” Ipsos said in a statement.

“Only two-in-ten (20 per cent) western Canadians agree with the statement that ‘I think the views of western Canadians are adequately represented in Ottawa.’ This result is fairly even across all western provinces and generally unchanged from tracking back to 2001.”

The Ipsos poll was conducted Oct. 24-Nov. 1, sampling 1,516 adults across the country. The results are accurate to 2 per cent 19 times out of 20.

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Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard and the Vice-President: News Division of Western Standard New Media Corp. He has served as the City Editor of the Calgary Sun and has covered Alberta news for nearly 40 years. dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com

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4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Debra Gour

    November 7, 2019 at 10:15 am

    I was born in Calgary 62 years ago, & I grieve for my Western Canadian brothers & sisters & what this Recent Liberal Gov’t has done to them. It is probably a good idea to seek Independance from Canada now, as this Radical Global Agenda Trudeau is following, will affect our whole Culture & Economy in Future. We must ban together in Unity to preserve our Beliefs & Way of Life while we still Can !*

  2. A. B Cutterwood

    November 6, 2019 at 12:48 pm

    I think the author auto rethink some of his comments because the numbers are far higher than that and rage is probably a better word than anger… The west receives no representation and no respect no matter who we vote for. Our voice would be better served if it fell on our own ears.!! We have little in common with anything East of thunder bay.. The irresponsibility of the GTA proves they should not be allowed to speak for the west.

    • Karen Macleod

      November 9, 2019 at 1:06 pm

      There has to be a greater repair between Alberta and BC. The constant fighting over resources is a petty spat that needs to be mended to build a true strong alternative to the nation of Canada as it is now.

  3. Donald

    November 5, 2019 at 10:46 pm

    The word insert should be assert in motion

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CRA wants more tax filers to use mail

The government’s own research shows millions of paper filers resist change.

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The taxman is angry that too many Canadians are still filing by mail, says Blacklock’s Reporter.

The government’s own research shows millions of paper filers resist change.

“Those who submit their taxes by mail most often say they use paper rather than filing electronically because it is simply how they prefer to do it, e.g. they do it out of habit, because ‘it’s what they are comfortable with,’ they like it, etcetera,” said a Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) report.

“Just 13% cite security issues.”

Data show of 30.5 million tax returns filed this year a total 2.7 million or 9% were filed on paper. Millions of taxpayers, a total 4,234,772 including Internet filers, demanded refunds be paid by mailed cheque instead of direct deposit.

The CRA complained it would be “more timely and efficient” if all taxpayers used the Internet. The Agency spends $6.9 million annually mailing T1 general tax forms alone.

“There is still a sizable proportion of taxpayers who are conducting their business with the Canada Revenue Agency through paper rather than taking advantage of digital services which are much more timely and efficient,” said the report.

Research showed typical paper filers were working age men under 55 who completed their own return without a tax preparer, had a university degree, earned more than $80,000 a year and were more likely than other Canadians to prefer in-person teller service rather than online banking.

“The most important factor influencing why respondents file by paper instead of online is disinterest,” wrote researchers, who added: “Apathy is a barrier. Fifty percent of likely switchers say they are simply not interested in switching. Therefore the agency will have to demonstrate the value of switching.”

Findings were based on questionnaires with 2,000 taxpayers who filed returns by mail. The Agency paid Earnscliffe Strategy Group $130,061 for the survey.

The research follows a failed 2012 campaign to have all Canadians use direct deposit for payment of tax refunds and benefit cheques. The attempt by the Receiver General of Canada, the federal office responsible for processing payments, was intended to save costs. Paper cheques cost 82¢ apiece to process compared to 13¢ for electronic transfers, by official estimate.

An estimated 13% of taxpayers refused to surrender bank account information to the Receiver General. “Cheque recipients have become harder to engage,” said a 2020 Department of Public Works survey.

“A few have a general distrust of the Government of Canada’s ability to protect data,” wrote researchers. A total 23 percent of Atlantic residents said they wouldn’t rely on the government to protect their privacy, followed by 22% in Saskatchewan and Manitoba, 21% in Ontario, 19% in Alberta, 18% in BC and 12% in Québec.

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WATCH: Alberta Oil drives Guilbeault to meeting with Nixon

Federal Environment Minister Stephen Guilbeault’s tour of Alberta has already kicked off with a whiff of hypocrisy.

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Attended by a sizable entourage, Guilbeault exited his black gasoline-powered SUV and hustled into the McDougall Centre in Calgary for a meeting with Alberta Environment Minister Jason Nixon.  

Guilbeault has dedicated most of his career to telling Canadians they need to transition from petrochemically fueled transportation. During this meeting though, Guilbeault chose not to find an utilize an electric-powered SUV in order to demonstrate his environmental virtue. With the resources of the entire federal government behind him, one would have thought that Guilbeault could have arranged appropriate transportation for his cross-Canada tour.  

It’s almost as if electric vehicles are still not ready for mainstream use yet. 

At least Guilbeault contributed to the Western economy with his conspicuous consumption of local petrochemical products.  

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News

Officials urge booster injections to tackle lingering Delta variant amid Omicron craze

The WHO classified Omicron as a “variant of concern,” however, the South African doctor who discovered Omicron in her patient says she is “stunned” by the response.

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The National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) is now strongly urging COVID-19 booster injections for those over the age of 50.

In addition, the committee is now recommending boosters of an authorized mRNA vaccine to those 18-49 years of age at least six months after completion of a “primary COVID-19 vaccine series with consideration of jurisdictional and individual risks.”

The announcement comes amid global discussion of the Omicron variant. The federal government requested on Tuesday that NACI swiftly review its booster guidance in response to Omicron.

The NACI’s new booster recommendation, however, focuses on the lingering Delta variant while more details are gathered on Omicron.

On Nov. 26, 2021, the World Health Organization (WHO) classified Omicron as a “variant of concern,” although the South African doctor who discovered Omicron in her patient says she is “stunned” by the response.

“As chair of the South African Medical Association and a GP of 33 years standing, I have seen a lot over my medical career,” writes Dr. Angelique Coetzee, in an op-ed for the Daily Mail.

“But nothing has prepared me for the extraordinary global reaction that met my announcement this week that I had seen a young man in my surgery who had a case of COVID that turned out to be the Omicron variant.”

The young man was unaware he had contracted the virus.

Coetzee says she has seen nothing about the variant that warrants panic.

“No one here in South Africa is known to have been hospitalized with the Omicron variant, nor is anyone here believed to have fallen seriously ill with it,” writes Coetzee.

She also says the variant has been circulating South Africa for “some time.”

Viruses — such as COVID-19 — have their own DNA or RNA, therefore allowing them to mutate into new forms.

“This virus is going exactly how you’d expect,” Dr. Steven Pelech, chair of the Scientific and Medical Advisory Committee at the Canadian Covid Care Alliance, told the Western Standard.

“Strains are going to predominate which are more infectious and mild. That’s how it displaces other variants, it doesn’t kill the host. The host often doesn’t even know they are infected.”

Pelech — who is far from alone in his analysis — suggests the “variants of concern,” including Delta, are merely steps towards COVID-19 evolving into a common coronavirus. One that is highly infectious and exceedingly mild.

The Canadian government implemented additional travel restrictions in response to Omicron on November 30 — built upon previous measures.

“We know that these concerning mutations can arise and, where vaccinations are low in parts of the world, they can spread rapidly,” said BC Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry on Tuesday.

BC officials say the province will have more information on Omicron and its implications — such as vaccine efficacy — in the coming weeks.

“Isn’t this the same playbook we heard a year ago with the Delta variant?” said Pelech.

Reid Small is a BC-based reporter for the Western Standard
rsmall@westernstandardonline.com
Twitter.com/reidsmall

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