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Two thirds of residents say their views are different from the rest of Canada.

Calgary, AB – As Alberta prepares to celebrate Heritage Day, a new Insights West poll has found that three politicians are regarded as some of the most admired figures associated with the province.

The online survey of a representative provincial sample also shows that just one-in-four Albertans believe their province would be better off as its own country.


Albertans were asked to think of people, living or dead, who are from or are associated with Alberta, and then select the one person that they admire most.

Two former premiers—Ralph Klein and Peter Lougheed—received by far the most mentions from respondents (163 and 125 respectively), followed by current Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi (19), professional gardener and former Lieutenant Governor Lois Hole (also 19) and Edmonton Oilers icon Wayne Gretzky (17).


When asked to name the best head of government the province has had since November 1985, three-in-five Albertans (59%) select Ralph Klein, with Don Getty a distant second at 7%. When asked about the worst premier of the past three decades, 58% of Albertans choose Alison Redford.

The feeling of western alienation has definitely subsided, particularly with the youngest Albertan adults. Only 23% of residents believe the province would be better off as its own country.

“Residents aged 55 and over feel strongest about Albertan independence,” says Mario Canseco, Vice President, Public Affairs, at Insights West. “By a 6-to-1 margin, those aged 18-to-34 believe the province is doing fine within confederation.”

The People

In an open-ended question, the words used the most by Albertans to describe what makes their province unique are hard-working, oil, friendly, diverse and beautiful.

Two thirds of Albertans (67%) think their views are different from the rest of the country. In fact, 64% of Albertans believe they have more in common with Americans than Quebecers—but only 38% feel they have more in common with Americans than with Ontarians.

Nine-in-ten Albertans (92%) say they are proud of the province they live in, and one-in-four (26%) consider themselves “Albertans first, and Canadians second.” In addition, 72% of residents believe they will stay in Alberta for the rest of their lives, and 63% think their children will reside in the province.


Finally, when asked to describe neighbouring British Columbia in one word, Albertans relied the most on beautiful, mountains, expensive, ocean and forest.

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 seventeen employees.

About this Release:

Results are based on an online study conducted from July 15 to July 18, 2014, among 627 Albertans aged 18+ who 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 Alberta for age, gender and region. Results have a margin of error of +/- 4.0 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. Click here to view the detailed data tabulations for this study. Click here to view the word clouds from the open-ended questions.

For further information, please contact:

Mario Canseco
Vice President, Public Affairs, Insights West


Photograph: Aaron Holmes