The Confederation of Tomorrow surveys are annual studies conducted by an association of the country’s leading public policy and social research organizations: the Environics Institute for Survey Research, the Centre of Excellence on the Canadian Federation, the Canada West Foundation, the Centre D’Analyse Politique – Constitution et Fédéralisme, and the Brian Mulroney Institute of Government. The surveys give voice to Canadians about the major issues shaping the future of the federation and their political communities. The 2022 study consists of a survey of 5,461 adults, conducted online in the provinces between January 18 and February 10; and by telephone in the territories between January 6 and 30. For more information about the survey, contact .
This report was produced and published by Environics Institute | April 2022
The Confederation of Tomorrow survey tracks the views of Canadians in all 13 provinces and territories on questions related both to the division of powers within the federation, and to identity. The survey finds that Canadians are relatively comfortable with their decentralized federation, as few seek a transfer of powers from their provincial or territorial government to the federal government. At the same time, only about one in five Canadians would like to see their province do more to develop a separate identity from the rest of Canada. Almost as many say their province should be doing less to achieve this goal, while a plurality prefers no change. As expected, in Quebec, there is a significant difference in views between supporters of the more nationalist government and the supporters of more federalist opposition. In Saskatchewan and Alberta, however, there is also a significant difference – in this case, between supporters of each province’s conservative-leaning government, and supporters of the NDP opposition.
The survey also shows that a majority of Canadians agree that their province or territory has a distinct culture that is often misunderstood by people living in the rest of Canada. Canadians in the three territories are much more likely than those in the provinces to hold this view. Additionally, as in previous years, most Canadians see themselves as at least partly a Canadian and at least partly someone from their province (if not both equally). The proportion identifying as a Canadian first or only has risen in Newfoundland and Labrador, P.E.I. and Alberta; while the proportion identifying with their province first or only has declined in Quebec (among francophones). These findings suggest that, in provinces such as Newfoundland and Labrador, Saskatchewan and Alberta, the persistence of grievances with the way federalism is working has not had the effect in recent years of weakening the Canadian identity or reinforcing provincial identities.
This report was produced by Environics Institute