Poll has no revelations
It really shouldn’t surprise anyone.
Support for the Northern Gateway pipeline project is about twice as strong in Alberta as it is in British Columbia.
A new poll has found 61 per cent of B.C. residents oppose Enbridge’s proposed Northern Gateway pipeline, while support is at 35 per cent.
It’s a different story in Alberta, where the survey, which polled 512 B.C. residents and 562 Albertans, found 75 per cent support for the project.
And the Insights West online survey found opponents of the project are more entrenched – 38 per cent are strongly opposed, compared to just 11 per cent who strongly support the new route for crude oil across northwestern B.C. to Kitimat.
Respondents in both provinces agreed by large margins that the pipeline will create new jobs, support economic growth and create new capital investment.
But environmental concerns – the risk of ocean spills as well as pipeline construction impacts on land – trumped the economic benefits for most B.C. residents.
Men in both provinces were more likely than women to support building the pipeline.
For anyone who has been following the issue, the poll results don’t really carry any surprises. It does highlight that, as pollster Steve Mossop pointed out, opposition to the project, at least in B.C., is gaining momentum and that the public’s opinions, whether for or against, are becoming more entrenched.
It will undoubtedly be an election issue, but the real test of mettle will be for whoever is in government when the Joint Review Panel releases its findings later this year or early next.