Author: Dr. Loleen Berdahl

A new discussion paper from the Canada West Foundation explores regional discontent with the Canadian federal government over three election periods; 2004, 2006 and 2008. The data indicate that western Canadian attitudes toward the federal government were more positive in 2008 than in 2004.

Whither Western Alienation?: Shifting Patterns of Western Canadian Discontent with the Federal Government finds that regional discontent in western Canada declined over the past three election periods; in particular, Albertans and British Columbians were less likely in 2008 to feel that their province was treated worse than other provinces. Although discontent declined in western Canada, it increased in Ontario and Atlantic Canada.

The report concludes by suggesting that feelings of “western alienation” shift over time. Western dissatisfaction with the federal government may be low today, but depending on the circumstances, it may resurface.