Grounds For Separation, Part 2

The Devastating Impact.

6. Unemployment Rate

In February of this year, Calgary once again reclaimed the title of Highest Canadian Metropolitan Unemployment, reaching 7.6%, edging out St. John’s, Nfld where the rate remained a steady 7.4%.

It spent most of 2016 and part of 2017 on top of this list before it got a reprieve, but it would top the list again early in 2019. The unemployment rate in Calgary rose and fell in a gentle slope on a line chart. It covers the period of time that most people would have been eligible for unemployment benefits. The fact that the rate fell by no means that those unemployed found work, it only means that their benefits have run out and they are no longer technically “unemployed” for statistical purposes.

By all accounts there are over 200,000 unemployed in Alberta at this moment. Many of them worked in or relied on the energy industry for employment. Based on anecdotal evidence there is a very large population of unemployed geologists and land men in Alberta right now. These were good paying professional jobs, and now many of these geologists have no more savings, the unemployment ran out years ago, had to sell their homes and vehicles, and are now on the verge of economic ruin. Men who previously made $100,000 a year are now begging to flip burgers for $15/hr.

Many energy companies now no longer operate in Alberta due to the fact that it is no longer feasible for them to do so. Policies put in place by the provincial and federal governments have scared off investment in Alberta, leading to the increase in unemployment in the energy sector.

7. Bankruptcies

Between 2014 and 2018 the number of personal bankruptcies and consumer proposals in Alberta jumped an incredible 76%, going from 8,281 in 2014 to 14, 555 in 2018. Comparatively, the national rate rose by a mere 5.8%.

Alberta business bankruptcies during the same period rose by 46% going from 141 in 2014 to 206 in 2018, while nationally the amount actually decreased by 15% going from 4,219 in 2014 to 3,580 in 2018.

8. Income Support

In Alberta, the Income Support program provides assistance to low-income individuals and families. Child and health care, subsidies, and income assistance are among the services available. Households are categorized according to group: Single, Single with One or More Children, Couples, and Couples with One or More Children.

These are then further categorized by;Expected to Work(ETW):Unemployed and Able to Work, Unemployed and Unable to Work (ie. due to Illness, caring for family, etc.) and, Barriers to Full Employment(BFE) in which recipients are unable to work due to chronic long-term illness. The amount of benefits available depends upon marital status, number of dependants (if any), and, level of ability to work.

Starting in the year 2014, I measured the number of households receiving income support benefits in the month of July, until the current year where I measured the month of January.

A massive increase.

In July of 2014 there were a total of 33,522 households receiving assistance. By January of this year that number had nearly doubled to 59,940.

The number of people who were not working but were available to work skyrocketed from 5,820 in 2014 to 21,745 in 2019, more than three times what it was four and a half years before. Those unavailable to work rose by 50% going from 7,979 in 2014 to 12, 338 in 2019.

The segment of the population hardest hit has been single people. In 2014, of the 33, 522 households on benefits, 22, 037 were single individuals or 66%. In January they accounted for 69% of the 59,940 households collecting benefits. This would be an increase of 79% over 2014.

9. Crime

During periods of economic instability, crime rates tend to increase. This is no more evident than in Calgary, where crime rates soared in 2015 following the collapse in oil prices. In the years that followed, although the rates have stabilized, they remain high and show no signs that they will be coming down.

Crimes across virtually every category rose sharply in 2015. Naturally there were significant increases in “the usual suspects”, Property Crimes, Theft, Robbery, and Domestic Violence. There has also been an alarming increase in the number of violent crimes as well, especially in the number of assaults. There has also been a disturbing increase in the number of assaults on police officers.

They are categorized as 1) Social Disorder, 2) Property Crime (Theft, B&E, Robbery, Vehicle Theft, Fraud) and, 3) Person Crime (Assault, Domestic Assault, and Sex Offenses.

I will be providing more details in another post addressing Calgary crime statistics.

9.1 Social Disorder 2014 – 2018

Social Disorder calls are the ones police respond to the most in a typical day. They include such things as: Drunk, Disturbance, Indecent Act, Juvenile Complaint, Landlord/tenant, Mental health concern, Neighbor dispute, Party complaint, Prowler, Suspicious person, Threats, Drugs, Noise complaint, Possible gunshots, Unwanted guest/patron, Prostitution, Speeder, Suspicious Auto (grouped as Social Disorder), Fire, Property damage and Abandoned auto (grouped as Physical Disorder). 

Defying my expectations, the number of Social Disorder calls fell for the first time in nearly five years. It wasn’t alot, roughly one percent, but at least it is moving in the right direction. Among the complaints seeing the most significant deceases year over year were:

  • Disturbance – 348 (8.8%)
  • Drugs -104 (13.2%)
  • Intoxicated Persons -128 (13.7%)
  • Landlord/Tenant Issue -70 (7.6%)
  • Noise Complaint -115 (9.3%)
  • Party Complaint -56 (13.2%)
  • Speeder -33 (13.2%)
  • Suspicious Vehicle -412 (10.8%)

9.2 Property Crimes: B&E, Theft, Vehicle Theft 2014-18

There was a large spike in property crimes in 2015 as unemployment began to rise. The increase in drug use, especially crystal meth, has contributed to them remaining at high levels, placing further strain on police resources.

Between 2014 and 2018: Break & Enters rose 68.7% (3,994), Thefts increased 50% (9,903), and Vehicle thefts were up by 44.5% (2,131).

9.3 Person Crimes: Robbery, Assaults, and Sex Offenses 2014-18

Crimes against people didn’t see the dramatic increases in 2015 as property crimes did. There has however been a steady increase in the number of these crimes, especially the number of assaults and sex offenses.

Between 2014 and 2018 the total number of Assaults rose by 51% (3,037) while Sex Offenses were up by 63% (490). Among assaults, the number of assaults against police is seeing a dramatic increase, up 79% (150).

In 2018 Sex Offenses were up by a dramatic 63% over 2014 (+490).

10. Suicides

Sadly, the spike in the number of suicides in Alberta in 2015 was also to be expected, as the number of people who took their own lives rose by 22% over the previous year. The biggest increases occurred in 5 age groups: 25-29, 40-44, 45-49, 55-59, and 65-69.

A similar statistic is seen in Saskatchewan at the same time. Information from the Government of Saskatchewan shows that suicides rose by 27% in 2015 over 2014. Most significantly, the number of men rose by 43% year over year. This trend was not seen on other provinces, however there were other trends evident in other provinces, and at different times.

The suicide rate in Alberta, and likely everywhere else, is not a true representation of the number of suicides. I can say this with certainty because recently somebody I knew committed suicide, and their death was ruled an overdose. Had a complete death investigation done I’m confident the correct determination would have been made, but such investigations cost money and often aren’t done. Many suicide deaths are wrongly attributed to overdose, accident, or misadventure.


The human impact of the economic crisis in Alberta has been immense. With over 200,000 unemployed, many for an extended duration, it is critical that steps be taken immediately to create an environment that will attract investment

Although Jason Kenney will do what he can to salvage the Alberta economy and get it moving forward again, the biggest impediment to a Alberta’s success is and will always be lack of pipeline access to a deep-water port. By opening up these markets, Alberta will ensure that it, and Canada, will receive the maximum benefit from Alberta’s resources.

Alberta’s fate is being left up to others to determine, and this has proven to be as disastrous in the past as it is now. The only way to end this is to either make some serious changes to the equaliztion formula (highly unlikely), or for Alberta to separate and control its own destiny (the best option).

The people of Alberta deserve better.


Grounds For Separation

Alberta has ample grounds to walk away.

I started this blog back in January with the post “The Last Good Day”. It was intended to provide a thorough and comprehensive statistical view of life in Alberta, with an emphasis on Calgary.

In order to provide the best overall picture of the situation, I have chosen the statistics and information rerlating to a number of areas including:

  • Population
  • Federal Payments to Provinces
  • Oil Prices
  • Alberta Government Revenues
  • Downtown Calgary Office Space Vacancy
  • Unemployment Rate
  • Personal and Corporate Bankruptcies
  • Provincial Income Support Levels
  • Crime Rate in Calgary
  • Suicide Rate in Alberta

While these numbers may come as a shock to some, others simply will not care, engaging in schadenfreude at Alberta’s expense. For others nothing short of the complete destruction of Alberta would satisfy them.

This message isn’t for them. It’s for anyone who wonders why we in Alberta feel the way we do. This is why we are angry and so many of us are ready to break from Confederation. We have plenty of good reasons to want a better deal and if one isn’t forthcoming then the only alternative is to strike out on our own.

A joint effort.

To be fair, what has happened in Alberta isn’t solely Justin’s fault. Regressive job-killing policies and taxes on the part of former Premier Rachel Notley and Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi have also contributed to the ruination of Canada’s former economic engine.

With Jason Kenney now at the helm in Alberta things will slowly atart to improve, but if justin Trudeau somehow manages to win in October, any hope of recovery will be ruined.

I told you what was going to happen.

Back in January I warned that if something didn’t happen to help the Alberta economy, and soon, the effects would soon be felt throughout the Canadian economy.

The latest economic numbers seem to be bearing this out, and soon, the numbers that are being seen in Alberta will be seen across the country. If Justin Trudeau and the rest of the Worst Canadian Government Of All Time aren’t voted out of office in October, Canada will become an economic basket-case.

1. Population

For reasons that confound me, more people continue to come to this province than leave it. All this is managing to do is add more stress to a system that is already strained. With continuing high unemployment, unless these people have jobs to come to Alberta for they will only be a drain on the social system.

Link to Q3 Alberta Population Report:

Click to access 2018-q3-population-report.pdf

2. Federal Payments to Provinces

Equalization and Transfer Payments

Major Federal Transfers

The Government of Canada provides significant financial support to provincial and territorial governments on an ongoing basis to assist them in the provision of programs and services. There are four main transfer programs: the Canada Health Transfer (CHT), the Canada Social Transfer (CST), Equalization and Territorial Formula Financing (TFF).

The CHT and CST are federal transfers which support specific policy areas such as health care, post-secondary education, social assistance and social services, early childhood development and child care.

The Equalization and TFF programs provide unconditional transfers to the provinces and territories. Equalization enables less prosperous provincial governments to provide their residents with public services that are reasonably comparable to those in other provinces, at reasonably comparable levels of taxation. TFF provides territorial governments with funding to support public services, in recognition of the higher cost of providing programs and services in the north.

Equalization and Total Federal Payments Charts 2012-2020

Ontario goes from receiving 21% of Equalization funding in 2012/13 and by 2019/20 that number would dwindle to 0%. Quebec would pick up Ontario’s share however as it goes from receiving 48% in 2012/13 to 66% in 2019/20

The total amount of federal support going to the provinces remains at a constant rate from year to year. What changes is the amount being distributed. In 2012/13 those payments totaled nearly $57 billion and have risen to over $78 billion in 2019/20, an increase of 72%.

3. The Price of Oil

The closing prices on May 6, 2019. WCS $49(US)/bbl. WTI $58.70(US)/bbl. A price spread of $9.70(US).

The benchmarks off of which our oil is priced are West Texas Intermediate (WTI) and Western Canadian Select (WCS). WCS is the grade of crude produced by the oil sands. It is heavier, and not as easy to transport as the light and medium grades of crude oil, such as WTI, therefore goes for a lower price. The difference in price between WTI and WCS is called the “spread”.

The price difference can also be attributed to other factors, such as supply and demand. The price of WCS plummeted in relation to WTI in November of this year, and the spread hit an all-time high of $55(US)/bbl as inventory levels reached capacity. Over time, the lack of pipeline capacity has resulted in an over-supply of WCS, translating into a lower price.

There has been slightly less volatilty in the price since measures were put in place to reduce inventory levels, however the province is still losing hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue due to the lack of a pipeline to a deep water port.

4. Alberta Government Revenues 2013/14-2017/18

Fiscal 2015/16 saw a huge drop in resource revenue for the Province of Alberta, falling by 50% over 2014/15. Bitumen royalties fell from $5.04 Billion in 2014/15 to $1.22 Billion the following year. Crude oil royalties plummeted from over $2.2 Billion to under $700 Million and natural gas royalties fell from $989 Million to $493 Million. This would also translate into lower income tax revenue for the province.

While the amount of personal income tax collected fell slightly between 2014/15 and 2017/18, the amount of corporate income tax collected fell by over 40% over the period. The amount of fuel taxes rose by over 45% in 2015/16, due in large part to an increase in the provincial fuel tax in 2015.

The “sin taxes” collected also seem to tell a story. Albertans gambled less after 2015/16, drank more between 2013 and 2018, and seemed to be smoking about the same amount of tobacco. After realizing a budget surplus of $1.1 Billion in 2014/15, the Government of Alberta ran budget deficits totalling $25.1 Billion between 2015/16 and 2017/18. The forecast for 2018/19 is for a deficit of $7.5 Billion.

The one thing Alberta does have going for it right now is that Jason Kenney can set about making things right again, but we still don’t know the true extent of the damage the Notley regime did to the provincial finances. In any event, it’s going to take time.

The increase in fuel tax revenue was due to an increase in the tax rate by the Notley government.

5. Downtown Calgary Office Space

In Q1 of 2014 there was over 40 million square feet of downtown Calgary office space with a vacancy rate of 8.13%. The average rent for class “A” office space was $34 per square foot. In Q1 of 2018 there was close to 44 million square of downtown Calgary office space and the vacancy rate had jumped to over 27%.

The average rent for class “A” office space was down to $14 per square foot. Assuming the same vacancy rate and price per square foot over this period, this translates into a loss of $2 Billion in rental income, and a report released in March suggests the city has lost $250 million in tax revenue as a result of the decline in non-residential property values.

To Be Continued In Grounds for Separation, Part 2

The human impact of the crisis in Alberta with a look at unemployment, bankruptcies, income support, crime, and suicide. See the toll the last 5 years has taken.

Significant Polling Errors

Public opinion polls are a necessary part of a functioning democracy. Why have so many been wrong lately, and what effect can it have? Is there a workable solution?

On the night of November 9th, 2016, pollsters and pundits alike were in stunned silence as Donald Trump handily beat Hillary Clinton for the presidency. This wasn’t supposed to be happening, Newsweek had already printed 125,000 copies of its commemorative Madame President edition. Those fortunate enough to have laid their hands on a copy could fetch nearly $10,000 in an online market, while others would later only be able to attract bids of 99 cents.

It was like a clap of thunder, out of nowhere and a complete surprise. None of the polls were indicating that this was about to happen. Afterwards it was determined that many Trump voters either didn’t say who they voted for, or said they voted for Clinton just to avoid the hassle and get back home. It was something nobody had anticipated would happen.

Polls and the democratic process.

Opinion polling plays a very key role in the democratic process, and serves two important functions within it. First, polls give candidates and politicians an idea as to where the voting public stands on the issues. A swift public backlash on a policy can lead to a quick abandonment of said policy, or the need to develop a strategy to make it more palatable to voters.

Second, polling data can be used to influence voter behaviour. If, for example, a poll showed that Hillary Clinton held a substantial lead over Donald Trump (and many did btw) then this might cause some of her voters to stay home, thinking that everybody else has it covered, it’ll only be one less vote for Hillary. It could also incite more people to come out to vote for Donald Trump in an attempt to overcome the deficit and win.

Some serious polling errors.

“Barring some sort of miracle, he’ll be the mayor on Oct. 16.”

Quito Maggi, president and CEO of Mainstreet Research
Early on the morning of Friday, October 13th 2017

Three days before the 2017 Calgary municipal election, a poll was released that showed mayoral candidate Bill Smith had a 13 point lead over the incumbent Naheed Nenshi. Although Smith had appeared to be gaining ground, the result was a surprise, at least to me it was. Don’t get me wrong, I was happy with the result, but it just seemed off somehow.

Two other polls released at about the same time were split, with one favoring Nenshi and the other Smith. Both campaigns would kick into high gear over the final week-end. The candidate polling third, Councillor Andre Chabot, was all but eliminated from the race.

On election night, the incumbent, Nenshi would reclaim the mayor’s chair by seven points over Smith after getting 51% of the vote to Smith’s 44%. Almost immediately, the poll results from Mainstreet would come under scrutiny, and a review was launched by the Marketing Research Intelligence Association (MRIA), the industry’s governing body. A panel of three independent academics would issue a scathing 70 page report in August 2018. Among its findings:

the Mainstreet poll “received the greatest media attention during the campaign because of their number, their startling results and their association with the two Calgary dailies significantly affected the course of the campaign.

“They threw Nenshi’s campaign on the defensive, gave impetus to Smith’s campaign, and possibly doomed the prospects of another candidate, André Chabot, who Mainstreet’s poll suggested was not a close contender,” 

“Mainstreet executives responded with unshakeable confidence in their results and attacked their critics, often in personal terms, at one point suggesting there would be ‘payback’ after the election results were known,”

The report said that confidence contrasted with the firm’s internal concerns over the poll results eventually led it to change its methodology — another point of contention within the polling

Instead of using random-digit dialing, Mainstreet used phone numbers pulled from a “directory,” which pollster Janet Brown said meant the survey started out with a “flawed sample.”
The experts said the directory was under-representative of young voters who eventually made up a large portion of the unexpectedly high voter turnout. Mainstreet failed to provide more information on what that directory was or where it came from.

A change of methodology was also a contributing factor to the final outcome, and the media also received some of the blame as the review found “some of the blame for the media and public confusion on Postmedia, which the panel argued “was not critical enough in its reporting of polls for which it was partially responsible.” Postmedia did not participate in the review.

I should note that it does appear as though Mainstreet has taken the appropriate steps to ensure that issues such as this doesn’t happen again. They were receptive to my inquiries and their polling data from the recent Alberta provincial election was in line with data collected by other firms.

Link to Alberta Provincial Election results report on Excel:!AjGPeOn-BhVuhnRL-lyLITCHVET1

Academic Explanation

I contacted polling analyst Bryan Breguet to get his take on the recent Alberta provincial election. Polling data for this election is somewhat consistent when taking the margin of error into account and there appear to be no major irregularities as was seen in the Calgary municipal election.

For Bryan, perhaps the most important factor when it comes to polling accuracy is voter turnout. He explains that “ elections where the turnout changed a lot tend to have more polling errors.” So any time you go from a high turnout election to a low turnout election or vice-versa, the less accurate the polling data will be.

In the 2015 election, turnout was a 22 year high of 58.25% In this election the turnout was just over 70%, much higher than four years ago. But, just as the last election was about the sweeping out of an old dynasty, this one was about a great desire in Alberta to right the wrong of four years ago. And so voters turned out in large numbers, setting a record for the number of votes cast in advance polls at nearly 700,000. There was little doubt who the winner would be.

Polling isn’t as simple as that however as there are a multitude of other factors that can have an effect on polling accuracy. The size of the sample of people polled, the mode of the survey, and perhaps most importantly, the volatility of the electorate, all play into the results of any poll. Human behaviour is something that can never be accurately predicted.

The Accuracy of Public Polls in Provincial Elections

David Coletto, Bryan Breguet

Mandatory voting.

In Australia, voting has been compulsory since 1912. Elections are held on week-ends, and a festive atmosphere goes along with it.

Let me lead into this part by making my views clear. I am a proponent of mandatory voting, and not just because I’m a poll geek and I think it would make polling more accurate. I also know the subject came up as part of a Parliamentary committee on electoral reform in 2016.

Submission to the House of Commons Special Committee on Electoral Reform, July 18, 2016

Click to access ThomasPaulG-e.pdf

That being said I also recognize the fact that I am in the minority here. Even all of the pollsters I asked weren’t crazy about mandatory voting either. There are some definite arguments to be made against it, including the the dichotomy of forcing people to do something in a free society. I absolutely agree with that argument and can see the irony in arguing for such a thing.

My argument for mandatory voting is based purely on emotion along with a sense of civic duty and patriotism, though these are things that are not in fashion in society at the moment, much to its detriment.

Yes, we live in a free society where we are able to choose what we think and how we feel, or at least that’s what is supposed to be happening. There are of course limits to these freedoms, but by and large compared to some countries around the world we have a great deal of freedom. For now at least.

What people fail to understand or have just plain forgotten, is that freedom is not free. The freedoms that we enjoy came at a price and that price was paid by the over 66,000 Canadians who gave their lives overseas and the hundreds of thousands whose lives were forever changed fighting for those freedoms. I’m quite certain it wouldn’t kill the majority of people to take a few minutes of their time to cast a ballot.

If you don’t know who to vote for or don’t particularly care for any of the candidates, spoil your ballot by writing none of the above on it. Just get involved in the process. In Australia, where there is mandatory voting, a consistently large percentage of the population turns out to vote, with fines of $80 AUD being levied upon those who don’t show up on voting day.

A source of funding for veterans.

I’m not sure how it works in Australia, but I think a fine of $50 would suffice and could be handled through the income tax system with 100% of the proceeds going towards veterans, on top of budgeted government spending for veterans. Seems reasonable to me though many will disagree. Let them.

A big thanks.

To the research companies who were gracious enough to answer my questions in a timely and eloquent manner, thank you so very much. For as much as polls are generally maligned these days, they play an essential part in the democratic process. Arguments can and have been made that a number of these companies and their polling data is biased. These arguments come from all sides of the political spectrum and the bias of the media reporting the poll results must also be taken into account.

So, for their contributions I would like to personally thank:

  • Quito Maggi – President and CEO, Mainstreet Research
  • Kyle Braid – Sr. VP Ipsos Public Affairs
  • Dr. Lorne Bozinoff – President and CEO, Forum Research
  • Ian Large – VP and Partner, Leger 360
  • Bryan Breguet – Polling Analyst and guru,

A parting thought.

I know that what I’m about to say will prove controversial and piss plenty of people off (don’t care) but I’m of the firm belief that the voting age, rather than being lowered, should be raised to 24. I’ll be discussing this in a future post.

The Case for Mandatory Voting in Canada
Mac Harb


The Final Word.

Having received some replies after I posted this, I am going to share with you the replies I got from the research companies in this story. I believe in allowing for replies or rebuttals and am not afraid to admit when I’m wrong. What’s important is that everyone has a chance to have their say.

One thing that I was reminded of took me back to my days in front line customer service, and that is the fact that nobody takes notice when you do things right. This is also true of pollsters. Remember that polling is part science and part art, and it’s not as simple as picking a number out of the phone book and calling someone.

As it also turns out I did find one person who agreed with me regarding compulsory voting, and that was Quito Maggi.

Quito Maggi
7:18 AM (10 hours ago)

to me

Hi Derek,

Thanks for taking the time to do this, overall I think it’s a good piece and making the case for mandatory voting in an effective way. I’m a fan of mandatory voting myself, where my family came from it has been the tradition for a long time (Argentina) despite having had challenges with democracy off and on over the 20th Century, it has been largely a stable democracy since the 1980s. They even have mandatory voting in their primary system.

A couple of small points here I would make.

1. Your piece references the unlikely Trump win as an example of significant polling error, but the National numbers were all within the margin of error for virtually all polls. The modellers and aggregators in the US in 2016 were the big failures in fact, they had between a 0 and 3% chance of Trump winning. They did not account for the large margins of victory in California and New York for Clinton being offset by smaller margins of victory in key swing states like Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and others for Trump. In the end, the polls were almost perfectly reflective of popular vote, but did not reflect the electoral college. I was one of only a few people to publicly say Donald Trump would win, based on lesser known state polls in those swing states.

2. It’s important to note as well since the MRIA panel report references this and so does your story, that both these polls had Chabot significantly lower than our poll. The suggestion made by observers, and by the panel, that somehow the polls (our polls specifically) were responsible for his poor performance is not supported by the facts. The CMES/Forum poll which was an academic study, showed Chabot in low single digits long before our first poll was published. There are instances where polling affects strategic voting, but there was no evidence to suggest this was the case in Calgary, nor is it possible for a polling firm to know what those effects might be. As you correctly point out, a poll showing a large lead for one candidate might cause complacency among the leading candidates supporters, it might also cause supporters for the other candidate to get motivated, or to some degree both. Part of the reason why we moved most of our polling to paywalled content is to avoid these accusations of “influence”.

3. This last point is more about tone, I think overall your post was fair but makes the same mistake that media has repeated in terms of polling accuracy. I made this point in my last response as well and I was hoping that you might mention it more specifically, polls are correct far more often than incorrect. The fact is, polling errors like Calgary are very rare, prior to 2017, you have to go back to BC 2013 or Alberta 2012 to see similar errors. There is a mathematical certainty that polls will have error from time to time (19 times out of 20). But if you add up the polls done by the firms who polled Alberta in 2019, we are talking about thousands of polls that were correct between 2014 and 2019, with a small number that were incorrect, it’s 99% of the polls that get it right, but only 1% that get the headlines.. All pollsters will tell you, the one headline you never see is “Polls get it right”, it’s only sexy when we get it wrong. Maybe a small reference in your story to that fact would be appropriate given the balance you’ve already shown.

Thanks again and look forward to seeing your work going forward. 

RE: [Contact] Media query


Kyle Braid <>
Wed, Apr 24, 1:28 PM (5 days ago)

to me

Hi Derek,

Happy to try to answer some questions. Obviously it was a miss for the entire industry, underestimating the strength of UCP vote and far overestimating NDP support. 

It, however, is going to take some time for us to do an internal analysis of both the phone and online portions of our samples. Not a lot to say yet, except that this does not look like a problem caused by turnout. And I do note that we have seen this before in Alberta in 2008, when many (not all) polls underestimated the strength of Ed Stelmach and the PCs. 


Kyle Braid| SVP
Ipsos Public Affairs

1075 W Georgia St, 17th floor
Vancouver, BC V6E 3C9
Phone : 778.373.5130 | Mobile : 604.788.24



Derek Bodner

Bryan Breguet
Tue, Apr 23, 2:18 PM (6 days ago)

to me


I’ve never been a fan of mandatory voting. I don’t see the point of forcing uninformed, uninterested people to vote. I have zero issue personally with a lot turnout as far as recognizing the results. I wish we had high turnout but, more importantly, I wish we had more people interested in politics.

As for the polls, I still believe this is an issue of selective turnout. UCP voters were more motivated. I guess many really, really didn’t like that their conservative province had a NDP government for 4 years lol

I wish Election Alberta would release a turnout by age like Election BC does.

Lorne Bozinoff
Tue, Apr 23, 9:27 AM (6 days ago)

to me

It’s true predicting who will vote when turnout is low can be problematic for polling.  However I think there needs to be a better justification for mandatory voting.  

I think though the turnout was pretty high.  

The underestimation of the UCP may have been due to a last minute surge towards them.  


Lorne Bozinoff

As Convoy Reaches Parliament Hill, The Real Message Is Muted.

Media Focus On Yellow Vests Shows That A New Approach Is Needed.

Looks like a pack of loons to me.

Janice Copling

Comments Section,Ottawa Citizen article, Feb. 19, 2019
The United We Roll convoy makes it to Parliament Hill in Ottawa.

The convoy that started out from Alberta on Valentines Day arrived on Parliament Hill this morning, joined by trucks from across the country. I wanted to see how the media were reporting this, so I looked at a variety of sites, and I was not surprised by much of what I read. That being said, it wasn’t all bad coverage, but the media bias in Canada is alive and well, and pushing an agenda based in fear.

The Big Three

Global, CTV, and CBC. Canada’s major fake news outlets had some differing takes on this story, though the CBC’s slant is clearly the most biased of the three. The Global and CTV News stories were the closest to being actual reporting, which frankly is refreshing.

CTV reported that 200 vehicles were involved, while Global put the number at “hundreds”. The CBC made no mention of the number of vehicles in their report.

On Tuesday morning, protesters parked approximately 200 vehicles in the streets surrounding Parliament Hill for a rally in front of the House of Commons.

Jeremiah Rodriguez, Staff

Both CTV and Global made mention of the fact that trucks from Quebec and the Maritimes had joined in the protest, while the Mothercorp Commisar who wrote the CBC piece fails to mention this.

A group of like-minded protesters from Eastern Canada was expected to join up with them in Ottawa.

By Karen BartkoOnline Journalist  Global News

The story on the CBC News website (author unknown) also contains judgmental statements such as “…controversial pro-pipeline movement..” and “..convoy of angry Albertans and other westerners…”, while the other two organizations refrained from being so blatantly prejudiced on this occasion, much to my surprise.

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer welcomed a controversial convoy bringing a pro-pipeline message to Ottawa today, assuring participants that “we’ve got your back.”

Unknown government chimp, CBC News

The Yellow Vests

The Yellow Vests play prominent in every story, and their role in the convoy varies depending on the point of view of the author, however it is quite clear that some see them as the organizers of the convoy, and that has detracted from the message the actual organizers wanted to get across.

A headline in the Montreal Gazette on Feb. 19th read “Trucks rolled in at a rally initiated by Yellow Vests Eastern Ontario”, while the grotesquely liberal Huffington Puffington Post (props to Mr. Rush Limbaugh for that one) ran a headline that read “Yellow Vest, United We Roll Aren’t Just A Pipeline Movement: Experts”. The gist of the article is that a horde of angry white nationalists from Alberta, driving in large, carbon spewing, climate killing trucks, have invaded Ottawa, and are spewing racism and islamo/homo/transphobia on the sacred grounds of Parliament Hill.

“A movement may try to distance itself and claim a project they think is innocent, but when you scratch the surface you realize it’s a vehicle of hate,” said Joseph. He described yellow vests as “a revisioned white nationalist, white supremacist movement.”

By Samantha Beattie, Huffer

It is in the comments section however, that you really get a feel for what people are thinking, at least what those people who felt strongly enough to actually write in anyways. The views of many who wrote in are summed up nicely by one woman, Janice Copling, whose comment on the story in the Ottawa Citizen was “Looks like a pack of loons to me”. While there were people who wrote in to defend the convoy, many saw it as just a bunch of angry racist rednecks who were out to stir up trouble.

Let The Editorializing Begin

Anyone who actually gives two shits about the issue and has a brain cell would know that the original purpose of the convoy was to draw attention to the fact that Ottawa needs to act on the pipeline issue IMMEDIATELY. The men and women in the convoy would otherwise be working right now, were it not for the current government of Canada, led by Justin Trudeau. Not only has it shown itself to be just as corrupt as Liberal government’s gone by, it has also proven to be perhaps the single most inept government in the history of Canada.

The message was muted by the presence of the Yellow Vests however, and this brings me to my thoughts on the Yellow Vest movement in Canada. Make no mistake, I fully support the vast majority of what the Yellow Vests are saying, with the exception of those beliefs espoused by the “fringe” elements of the movement.

I do not think that all left-leaning, liberal’s belong to or support Antifa, and so, similarly, I hope that you would not think that I’m a racist or neo-Nazi for espousing right-leaning conservative beliefs. I believe we need strict immigration controls, something that Canada is sorely lacking. This doesn’t mean I want to start putting muslim’s into internment camps, or deporting every person of colour that I see.

This Isn’t France

The reasons why Le Gilete Jaunes have proven to be an effective movement in France, are the same reasons that their Canadian compatriots have not, and will not achieve the same success.

First, the yellow vest has become ubiquitous in France, thanks to the law requiring them in all vehicles. They were ready at hand, bought and paid for, and, most importantly, symbolic of their cause. As you may recall, the protests in France began in response to an increase to fuel taxes, which of course directly affect vehicle owners. In Canada, the majority of people do not own a yellow vest, and it would require an outlay of cash (anywhere from $4 if you can find one at Dollarama, to $20 or more elsewhere). This tends to reduce support among those who can’t afford one, leaving them feeling left out.

The Yellow Toque’s. A Made In Canada Movement?

It’s probably safe to say that the vast majority of Canadians either have in the past, or currently own a toque, especially after the total load of bullshit that Mother Nature dumped on us in the form of the Polar Vortex. It might be safe to say that on a per capita basis, more people in Canada wear toque’s than people in France wear yellow vests. I know it wouldn’t be the best choice for summertime protesting, but I really can’t think of anything more Canadian than a toque for this.

The lack of a cohesive message is the other thing that differentiates the Yellow Vests. Here in Canada, the myriad of issues lends itself to confusion. They are essentially protesting everything all at once, which, while it shows that we have a LOT to complain about, doesn’t provide the specific focus it will need in order to garner greater success.

The Fight Must Go On

As Canadian’s, we’re still fairly new to the whole protest movement thing, especially those of us on the conservative side of things. We don’t have years of experience in protesting against out government, unlike many Europeans.

It is funny, and at the same time very sad, that one would aspire to put on a protest like those many we’ve seen held in European cities. Tens of thousands filling the streets at once, signs made, songs ready to be sung, flags being waved. I would prefer going without the tear gas and water cannons that are often synonymous with Continental demonstrations, but it would be foolish to expect otherwise.

The stakes are simply too high to stop now. Justin Trudeau and his minions in the Liberal caucus are a detriment to Canada. We knew of the ineptitude of this government, and now we have proof that corruption is ingrained in Liberal DNA. Allowed to remain in office, they will finish destroying the Alberta economy, which will precipitate an economic disaster that will be felt from coast, to coast, to coast.


Post Script

To see what the Crisis in Alberta looks like by the numbers, follow this link. You’ll begin to understand what it is that has turned us into “Angry Albertan’s”