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Three-in-five residents think the directive will make it more difficult for resource companies to work in Alberta.

Calgary, AB – The carbon tax announced by the Government of Alberta is only endorsed by over a third of residents, most of whom voted for the governing New Democratic Party (NDP) in last year’s election, a new Insights West poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative sample of Albertans, 50% say they oppose the carbon tax, while just over a third (36%) support it.


Most Albertans who voted for the NDP (56%) or the Liberal Party (53%) in the last provincial election support the carbon tax. Conversely, those who cast a ballot for the Wildrose Party (76%) or the Progressive Conservative Party (71%) are opposed to the carbon tax.

Almost two thirds of Albertans (64%) think the carbon tax will make it harder for Alberta’s economy to recover from its current state, and 60% believe it makes it more difficult for resource companies to work in Alberta. In addition, 56% predict job losses and an uncertain future for Albertans, while 67% say that the carbon tax did not lead to any tax reductions for Albertans.

While half of Albertans (50%) expect the carbon tax to move Alberta to embrace renewable energies, only 26% think it will not affect Alberta’s status as a low-cost exporter of energy. In addition, fewer than two-in-five Albertans think that the revenue from the carbon tax will help the health care and education systems (38%), that the notion that putting a price on carbon is a good way to address climate change (also 38%) and that the carbon tax is a “necessary step to combat climate change” (37%).

More than half of Albertans (52%) think global warming is a fact and is mostly caused by emissions from vehicles and industrial facilities—a proportion that increases to 72% for NDP voters and 74% for Liberal voters in the 2015 provincial election. Only 32% of Progressive Conservative and 26% of Wildrose Party voters in the last provincial election share this view.

“Part of the reason for the animosity from centre-right voters towards the carbon tax, has to do with their personal views on climate change,” says Mario Canseco, Vice President, Public Affairs, at Insights West. “However, the main qualms from Albertans are the idea that economic recovery will be tougher and the perception that some form of tax relief should have accompanied the new policy.”

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 percentage points. Click here to view the detailed data tabulations.

For further information, please contact:

Mario Canseco
Vice President, Public Affairs, Insights West


Photograph: Martin Lopatka