Vote Compass: some favour sharing the wealth with First Nations

Sharing Saskatchewan's resource wealth with First Nations has been a political hot potato in the province, but many continue to support the idea, Vote Compass says.

Supporters of Sask. Party, NDP taking opposing positions on controversial issue

Saskatchewan Party supporters and NDP supporters are polar opposites on the question of resource revenue sharing with First Nations. Sask. Party people are mostly against the idea, while New Democrats are in favour. (Natalie Holdway/CBC)

Sharing Saskatchewan's resource wealth with First Nations has been a political hot potato in the province, but many continue to support the idea, Vote Compass says.

Neither the Saskatchewan Party nor the New Democrats currently support sharing provincial revenue from things like oil and gas with First Nations.

In the 2011 election, the NDP campaigned on a promise to share resource wealth with First Nations. However, more recently, NDP Leader Cam Broten has said that's not something he's promising this time.

Resource revenue sharing was a major plank in the NDP's platform in the 2011 provincial election, but more recently party leader Cam Broten said the idea didn't work for him or the province and would not be back.

But the idea isn't dead yet, at least among NDP supporters, according to information collected from Vote Compass, which is CBC News' civic engagement application.

"With regard to resource revenue sharing, the NDP seems to be at odds with its supporters, a majority (62 per cent) of whom agree that the provincial government should share its resource revenues with First Nations," said Gregory Kerr, research manager with Vox Pop Labs, which created Vote Compass for CBC News.

"This is in stark contrast to Saskatchewan Party supporters, 67% of whom oppose such measures."

People in Saskatchewan appear divided on the issue of sharing resource wealth with First Nations. More people are opposed than in favour of the idea, however. (Natalie Holdway/CBC)

Some 7,109 respondents have participated from March 7 to 17 in Vote Compass.

With regard to resource revenue sharing, the NDP seems to be at odds with its supporters.- Gregory Kerr , Vox Pop Labs

The online tool lets people find out where they fit in on the political landscape in relation to the Saskatchewan Party, the New Democrats, the Liberal Party and the Greens.

It also lets the public weigh in on issues that could come up during the campaign. The economy and health care have proven to be the two issues the public cares about the most.

The latest report from Vox Pop Labs asked the public about First Nations issues.

New Democrats, Sask. Party supporters at opposite poles

When it comes to the question of sharing provincial resource revenues with First Nations, 48 per cent of people said they are opposed, while 34 per cent said they are in favour.

The rest said they were neutral on the issue or didn't know.

Some 43 per cent of Sask. Party supporters said they are "strongly opposed" to the idea of resource revenue sharing.

Many support more provincial support for First Nations schools

On a different First Nations-related question — asking how much the provincial government should be spending on reserve schools, there was generally support for more money.

Forty per cent said more, 37 per cent said about the same and 19 per cent said less. Another 3 per cent said they didn't know. 

As with the question about resource sharing, there were polarized views depending on party affiliation.

Sask, Party supporters — 48 per cent of them — tended to support the "about the same" option, while the other parties generally wanted to see more school spending.

Liberal Party supporters were most likely to support the Saskatchewan government spending more on reserve schools.

One of Saskatchewan's on-reserve schools is Payepot School northeast of Regina. (Aldo Columpsi/CBC)

Kerr said support for First Nations school spending tended to mirror what the individual's favoured party supported.

"A majority of Liberal, Green, and NDP supporters want the provincial government to increase its funding of schools on First Nations reserves, while the bulk of Saskatchewan Party supporters are happy with the status quo — preferences that in each case reflect the positions adopted by the parties."

Saskatchewan voters go to the polls on April 4.

Those who identify themselves as Liberal Party supporters are most likely to support increasing Saskatchewan government support for First Nations schools. (Natalie Holdway/CBC)

About Vote Compass

Developed by a team of social and statistical scientists from Vox Pop Labs, Vote Compass is a civic engagement application offered in Canada exclusively by CBC News. The findings are based on 7,109 respondents who participated in Vote Compass from March 7 to March 17, 2016. Unlike online opinion polls, respondents to Vote Compass are not pre-selected.

Similar to opinion polls, however, the data are a non-random sample from the population and have been weighted in order to approximate a representative sample. Vote Compass data have been weighted by geography, gender, age, educational attainment, occupation, and religion to ensure the sample's composition reflects that of the actual population of Saskatchewan according to census data and other population estimates.