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Premier Rachel Notley selected as “Newsmaker of the Year” by large margin.

Calgary, AB – Despite experiencing political shifts in Edmonton and Ottawa in a span of six months, most Albertans think the oil crisis was the top story of the year, a new Insights West poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative provincial sample, respondents were allowed to select up to five stories as the most important ones of 2015. Practically three-in-four Albertans (73%) selected the drop in oil prices leading to layoffs and job losses.

About two-thirds of Albertans included Justin Trudeau becoming Canada’s 23rd Prime Minister (65%) and Rachel Notley becoming Alberta’s 17th Premier (63%) on their list, followed by discussions related to Bill 6 (39%) and discussions related to climate change, coal and carbon taxes (35%).

Other stories that warranted mentions were the discussions related to the Keystone XL pipeline (25%), the fatal shootings of law enforcement officers (21%), the Edmonton Eskimos winning the Grey Cup (20%), a spike in Fentanyl overdoses (15%) and Connor McDavid being drafted by the Edmonton Oilers (12%).

Fewer residents included the passing of Progressive Conservative MLA Manmeet Bhullar (7%) and Omar Khadr settling in Edmonton (6%) on their list.

“At this point last year, fewer than half of Albertans saw the drop in oil prices as the most important story,” says Mario Canseco, Vice President, Public Affairs, at Insights West. “Now, it is the dominant story of the year, even after the end of the Progressive Conservative dynasty and the defeat of the Conservative Party in the federal election.”

Albertans were also provided with a list of 10 people, and asked to select up to three of them as the top “Newsmakers of the Year”. Alberta Premier Rachel Notley was the clear winner, with 61% of respondents including her on their list, followed by former Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper (32%) and Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi (27%).

Three other people reached double-digits: Edmonton Oilers hockey player Connor McDavid (14%), former Alberta Premier Jim Prentice (13%) and Wildrose Party leader Brian Jean (10%).

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.

About this Release:

Results are based on an online study conducted from December 10 to December 15, 2015, among a representative sample of 604 Albertan adults. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is +/- 4.0 points for Alberta. Click here to view the detailed data tabulations.

For further information, please contact:

Mario Canseco
Vice President, Public Affairs, Insights West


Photograph: Connor Mah