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.

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Executive summary

Canadians living in the three Prairie provinces are among those most dissatisfied with the way Canadian federalism works. For instance, Albertans, Saskatchewanians and Manitobans are among those most likely to feel that they have too little influence on important national decisions. But Prairie residents often distinguish themselves from other Canadians by the extent of their dissatisfaction with their provincial governments as well. Manitobans and Albertans are currently the least likely in Canada to say that their provincial government best represents their interests. And in all three Prairie provinces, the proportions saying that their provincial government best represents their interests has declined since this series of surveys began in 2019. Some of this may be a reaction to how the region’s provincial governments have managed the COVID-19 pandemic. Approval of the provincial government’s approach is lower in the three Prairie provinces than elsewhere in Canada. But declining approval of Prairie provincial governments is evident in other areas again, such as climate change and health care. On the issue of climate change, where federal policies have been a focal point for criticism from Prairie premiers, Prairie residents are now three times more likely to say they trust the federal government more, than they are to say they trust their provincial government more. The concept of “Western alienation” remains relevant as a means of highlighting the distinctive attitudes in the region toward Ottawa. At the same time, an exclusive focus on Western alienation risks obscuring the fact that, in recent years, frustration with the federal government has ebbed, while dissatisfaction with the approach of Prairie provincial governments to key issues has grown.


This report was produced by Environics Institute