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More than a third of residents say the economic conditions are poor, but most expect the price of oil to recover.

Calgary, AB – The economic uncertainty provoked by the recent drop in the price of oil has not led Albertans to embrace the concept of a provincial sales tax, a new Insights West poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative sample of Albertan adults, more than three-in-four residents (78%) oppose the introduction of a provincial sales tax, while only one-in-five (19%) support it.

The level of rejection for a provincial sales tax is strong across all demographics in Alberta, as well as in Edmonton (78%), Calgary (76%) and the rest of the province (81%).


Across the province, a majority of residents (57%) describe the economic conditions in Alberta as “very good” or “good”, while more than a third (37%) deems them “poor” or “very poor.”

When it comes to their own household’s finances, Albertans are more positive, with 70% saying the situation is “very good” or “good”, and 30% acknowledging that it is “poor” or “very poor.”

Most Albertans (54%) expect the price of oil to rise in the next year and, therefore, for Alberta’s situation to improve. Conversely, one-in-four residents (23%) believe that the price of oil will continue to drop, and that the province’s standing will worsen. Albertans over the age of 55 (60%) and Calgarians (58%) are more likely to forecast a rebound.

“While some Albertans appear to be bracing for tough economic times, there is little appetite for a new way of taxing residents,” says Mario Canseco, Vice President, Public Affairs, at Insights West. “In fact, residents over 55, who have lived through other oil price drops in the past, expect positive developments and are more likely than any other group to strongly oppose a provincial sales tax.”

About Insights West:

Insights West is a progressive, Western-based, full-service marketing research company. It exists to serve the market with insights-driven research solutions and interpretive analysis through leading-edge tools, normative databases, and senior-level expertise across a broad range of public and private sector organizations. Insights West is based in Vancouver and Calgary and has ten full-time and five part-time employees.

About this Release:

Results are based on an online study conducted from January 21 to January 23, 2015, among 600 residents of Alberta who are aged 18+ and are Your Insights panel members. is Insights West’s in-house access panel offering on-demand samples for both clients and research suppliers looking for Western Canadian populations. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region. While statistical margins of error are arguably not applicable to online panels/online studies of this nature, we have assumed that the same margins of error apply as if it were a true unweighted random probability sample with a margin of error of +/- 3.9 percentage points, nineteen times out of twenty. To view the detailed data tabulations, click here.

For further information, please contact:

Mario Canseco
Vice President, Public Affairs, Insights West


Photograph: Courtesy of Nelson de Witt, CC