Montreal — How do Canadians see themselves and their common goals within the federation?
New data on the nation’s self-perception is now available thanks to Confederation of Tomorrow 2020, a report that details Canadians’ outlook on the country and the economy, views on tackling climate change, and perceptions of federalism, regionalism, and nationalism.
The report is the result of a national public opinion survey of 5,152 Canadians. It was conducted in January and February of this year, when Canada had yet to be hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. Nonetheless, the nation was in a state of upheaval, dealing with the aftermath of an election that appeared to leave the country divided along regional lines, with a government with no representatives from Saskatchewan and Alberta; an official opposition all but shut out in central Canada’s two metropolises; and a resurgent Bloc Québécois.
At the time, discontent was growing among many Indigenous communities as well – the most notable example being the conflict over plans to complete construction of a natural gas pipeline to the Pacific coast through the traditional territories of the Wet’suwet’en Nation.
Despite these divisive issues, the report indicates that Canada is far from being more regionally divided than ever. Certainly, Canadians are divided on important issues such as how best to balance the environment and the economy. But divisions of opinion, rather than pitting one region against another, often exist within every part of the country, as the results of the survey show.
Confederation of Tomorrow 2020 was conducted by the Environics Institute for Survey Research in partnership with the Institute for Research on Public Policy, the Canada West Foundation, the Centre d’Analyse Politique Constitution Fédéralisme, and the Brian Mulroney Institute of Government.
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