Wednesday, August 10, 2005

West Canadian Separatists?

CALGARY (CP) - More than one-third of western Canadians surveyed this summer thought it was time to consider separation from Canada, a poll suggests.

In the survey, 35.6 per cent of respondents from Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia agreed with the statement: Western Canadians should begin to explore the idea of forming their own country.

Albertans, at 42 per cent, were most apt to consider independence, followed by Saskatchewan at 31.9 per cent. Residents of B.C. and Manitoba were the least likely to consider separation, at 30.8 and 27.5 per cent respectively.

The survey was commissioned by the Western Standard, a right-leaning bimonthly news and opinion magazine based in Calgary, to assess how well the federal government has been managing the issue of western alienation - something that Prime Minister Martin promised to reduce as part of his 2004 election campaign.

The research was conducted by pollster Faron Ellis, a political science professor at Lethbridge Community College, who surveyed 1,448 adult western Canadians between June 29 and July 5.

The results are considered accurate within plus or minus 2.6 percentage point, 19 times out of 20.

Ellis noted that surprisingly, separatist sentiment appeared to run highest among young people - 37 per cent of respondents between the ages of 18 and 29 were open to the notion of breaking away from Canada.

The whole story is available here at Canoe Inc.

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