Most residents consider N.L. 'have' province, poll finds

Have-not may be no more — most residents consider Newfoundland and Labrador to be a "have" province.

Opinion more prevalent closer to St. John's region

A recent poll has found that most residents consider Newfoundland and Labrador to be a have province. (Canadian Press file photo)

Have-not may be no more — most residents consider Newfoundland and Labrador to be a "have" province.

That’s according to a recent poll conducted by Halifax-based Corporate Research Associates.

The survey found that 58 per cent of respondents believe Newfoundland and Labrador is a "have" province, while 34 per cent believe it is "have not." The other eight per cent either don’t know or didn’t offer an opinion.

"The perception of ‘have’ or ‘have not’ status for Newfoundland and Labrador is likely associated with confidence in the province overall," Don Mills, chairman and CEO of Halifax-based Corporate Research Associates, said in a press release.

"The more citizens feel that Newfoundland and Labrador is a ‘have’ province, the more confidence they are likely to have in the future of the province. At the same time, there are also likely to be higher expectations of the government to share the province’s improving prosperity."

According to CRA’s findings, those closer to the booming capital city of St. John’s are more likely to believe they live in a "have" province.

Almost two-thirds of residents in the St. John’s/Avalon region — 64 per cent — agreed. That compares to less than half of those polled who live in the Western region, at 48 per cent.

The results are part of the CRA’s Atlantic Quarterly survey, and are based on a sample of 402 adult residents  of Newfoundland and Labrador. 

The survey was conducted from May 14 to May 30, with overall results for the province accurate to within plus or minus 4.9 percentage points in 95 out of 100 samples.

Official ‘have’ announcement came in 2008

In late 2008, Newfoundland and Labrador officially jumped to "have" status in the federal equalization program for the first time since Confederation.

That meant the province would no longer qualify for equalization payments from Ottawa.

While the determination involved an arcane series of calculations determining the ability to fund comparable levels of public services across Canada, it was viewed as a ground-breaking moment.

Then-premier Danny Williams called it "a momentous day for the people of this province."

Williams planned an extravagant province-wide celebration of the event, to coincide with the 60th anniversary of Confederation with Canada in 2009. But the event was later scaled back.

Newfoundland and Labrador’s transition to "have" status became a target of union advertisements during the tough budget tabled by the Dunderdale administration this spring.