Majority of BC residents feel more connection with Seattle, Portland than eastern Canada: poll

Aug 7 2019, 2:57 pm

Two-thirds of BC residents feel they have more in common with US cities such as Seattle and Portland, than with their counterparts in eastern Canada, according to a new poll.

In a recent online survey conducted by Vancouver-based Research Co. almost three-in-five British Columbians (59%) said they think their views “are different from the rest of the country” — including 89% of Green Party voters in the 2017 provincial election.

Two-thirds of British Columbians (66%, unchanged since a similar Research Co. poll conducted in June 2018) think they have more in common with the people of Seattle and Portland than with those in Toronto or Montreal.

The poll also found that 86% of respondents are “very proud” of the province they live in, and 74% believe they “will stay in BC for the rest of their lives.”

That said, this belief is somewhat dependant on the age of the respondents, according to Research Co. President Mario Canseco.

“There is a generational divide when British Columbians are asked if they will be lifelong residents of the province,” he said. “While 85% of those aged 55 and over say they will stay in British Columbia for the rest of their lives, the proportion drops to 74% among those aged 35-to-54 and 64% among those aged 18-to-34.”

Across the board, 19% of those surveyed said they “British Columbians first, and Canadians second” — a proportion that rises to 24% among residents of the Fraser Valley.

That said, 74% also disagree with the idea that British Columbia would be better off as its own country.

On the flip side, 67% of respondents say they are “Canadians first, and British Columbians second.”

Despite their pride in being a BC resident, respondents had a tricky time identifying who exactly has been the best when it comes to provincial leadership.

About two-in-five respondents said they are undecided when asked who they think has been the best premier of the province since August 1986. And only three leaders reached double digits: John Horgan (14%), Gordon Campbell (12%), and Christy Clark (11%).

When asked who they believe has been the worst recent premier, 27% of British Columbians select Clark, followed by Campbell (11%) and Horgan (10%).

Research Co. said the results of this survey are based on an online study conducted from July 23 to July 25, 2019, among 800 adults in British Columbia.

They note that the data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender, and region in British Columbia.