Does Alberta deserve special attention in federal budget?

Alberta Premier ‘cautiously optimistic’ over federal budget
WATCH ABOVE: Alberta Premier Rachel Notley responds the 2016 Federal Budget.

Thousands of layoffs, oil prices in a nosedive, a struggling economy and an overall sense of uncertainty; there is no doubt Alberta is hurting. But does that warrant extra consideration in the federal budget?

At a time when many across the country are worried about economic uncertainty, a new Ipsos poll conducted exclusively for Global News, looked at how Canadians feel about Alberta receiving special focus in this budget.

Just over one half (53 per cent) of Canadians surveyed agree that “given the collapse of oil prices, the Liberal government should spend more to help the Alberta economy.” Forty-seven per cent of respondents disagreed.

When it’s broken down by province, support for this idea is divided.

Not surprisingly, 95 per cent of Albertans agree they deserve special focus. Neighbouring provinces to the east were second in their support. Sixty-eight per cent of those in Saskatchewan and Manitoba support giving Alberta special attention. Just over half of those from B.C. (51 per cent) and Ontario (51 per cent) agree with the idea.

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After that though, support slips. In Atlantic Canada, 49 per cent agreed with giving Alberta special budget focus. In Quebec, only 35 per cent agree.

Watch below: Federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau is set to table his first budget in Ottawa on Tuesday. And with Alberta’s economy still ailing, Premier Rachel Notley has put in a pair of requests for what she’s hoping to see from it. Tom Vernon reports.

What Premier Notley wants to see in the federal budget
What Premier Notley wants to see in the federal budget

Premier Rachel Notley hopes Tuesday’s federal budget will include at least $1 billion in infrastructure investment for Alberta as well as better Employment Insurance access and longer coverage for Albertans.

Notley believes the province deserves extra consideration from the federal government.

“As a government, fiscally, we’ve lost about 20 per cent of our revenue in a 12-month period. We’ve lost tens of thousands of jobs in that same period,” Notley said.

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“Alberta has always contributed significantly both fiscally and economically to the benefit of all Canadians and we have suffered an unprecedented drop just in the last 12 months. So yes, we think it will benefit not only Albertans, but all Canadians… We think that most Canadians would agree with us on this; that when times are tough, we come together and help each other out.

“Alberta’s played that role for many years and now we need the same kind of help from people across the country,” the premier said.

READ MORE: What are the top priorities for Canadians ahead of the federal budget? 

Justin Trudeau’s government is set to unveil its first budget Tuesday and according to the same poll, the top priorities for Canadians are healthcare, taxes and relief for the middle class.

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The poll found Albertans’ priorities are a bit different from those in the rest of Canada.

Healthcare is still the top priority (41 per cent), but spending more to help seniors (40 per cent) and spending more to help middle-class families (33 per cent) are the second and third most important issues for Albertans heading into Tuesday’s federal budget.

More Albertans listed government spending to help young Canadians get work experience as a priority than respondents from other parts of Canada.

READ MORE: Is it time to change the EI system to give Albertans a break? 

The information and/or data may only be rebroadcast or republished with full and proper credit and attribution to “Global News Ipsos.” These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between March 14 and 16, 2016, on behalf of Global News. For this survey, a sample of 1,008 Canadians from Ipsos’ online panel was interviewed online. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll is accurate to within +/ – 3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, had all Canadian adults been polled.