Although a history of protest politics has done so much to define western Canada and to place it outside the Canadian mainstream, the aspirations and frustrations that animated western discontent over the years have been replaced by a new reality: the West is in, and many of the levers of national economic and political power rest in western Canadian hands. The protest tradition has yielded a dynamic region that leads rather than reacts to national economic, social, and political change.
The westward shift of the Canadian economy and demography is likely to be an enduring structural change that reflects and is reinforced by the transformation of the continental and global economies. At the same time, western Canada faces major challenges, including finding a place for a sustainable resource economy in a rapidly changing global environment, establishing a full and modern partnership with Aboriginal peoples, and creating urban environments that will attract and retain human capital. None of these challenges are unique to the West but they all play out with great force, and great immediacy, in western Canada.
About the authors
Loleen Berdahl is the Director of Research at the Canada West Foundation. Dr. Berdahl's particular research interests include urban policy, regionalism and federalism. In 2001 and 2003, Dr. Berdahl directed the Looking West surveys, western Canada's largest-ever public opinion survey. Dr. Berdahl has co-authored two books, Mindscapes: Political Ideologies Toward the Twenty-First Century (1996, with Roger Gibbins), and Explorations: A Navigator's Guide to Quantitative Research in Political Science (1998, with Keith Archer and Roger Gibbins).
Roger Gibbins is President and CEO of the Canada West Foundation and a Faculty Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Calgary. Dr. Gibbins has published 20 books and over 100 articles and book chapters, most dealing with western Canadian themes and issues. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 1998 and served as President of the Canadian Political Science Association from 1999 to 2000.
Other titles by Loleen Berdahl
Work Your Career
Get What You Want from Your Social Sciences or Humanities PhD
Canada: The State of the Federation, 2012
Regions, Resources, and Resiliency
Conducting Empirical Research in Canadian Political Science
Western Visions, Western Futures
Perspectives on the West in Canada, Second Edition