Most Albertans Support Equalization, New Poll Shows – Red Deer Advocate

A new poll shows that 74% of Canadians, including the majority of Albertans, continue to support Canada’s equalization program, which helps less prosperous provinces.

A total of 57% of Albertans support equalization, according to results from the Environics Institute For Survey Research’s Confederation of Tomorrow 2022 poll.

The poll results also mean that the October 2021 referendum on equalization in Alberta had little impact on public opinion, either inside or outside Alberta.

Currently, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec and Manitoba receive equalization payments, while Newfoundland and Labrador, Ontario , Saskatchewan, British Columbia and Alberta do not.

In recent years, the premiers of Alberta and Saskatchewan have criticized the program as the two resource-based economies faced mounting financial difficulties.

In last year’s referendum, Albertans voted 61.7% in favor and 38.3% against removing the principle of equalization payments from the Constitution.

But the report on the Confederation survey noted that only 39% of Albertans voted, so it was unclear whether the referendum results reflected the views of most Albertans.

The new survey also found that Canadians, including those who live in provinces that do not receive equalization transfers, are more likely to support an increase in equalization payments than a decrease.

Thirty-three percent say transfers should increase, 14 percent favor a decrease, 17 percent have no opinion and 35 percent favor the status quo.

The proportion of Albertans in favor of a decrease in equalization transfers actually fell from 34% in 2019 to 30% in 2022.

Surprisingly, the poll revealed that many Canadians did not know if their province received equalization payments. Only about one in two Albertans knew their province was not receiving the transfer.
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