British Columbians Throw Their Support Behind The New LNG Canada Project

This project receives stronger public support relative to other large-scale provincial energy projects.

Vancouver, BC – A week after the Government of British Columbia announced final approval has been given for a $40-billion liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant and pipeline project in Northern BC, a new poll by Insights West shows a solid level of support for the project among BC residents (62%, including 33% who “strongly” support it). One quarter of BC residents (25%) oppose the project, while the rest are unsure (13%). This poll was conducted just days before an Enbridge natural gas line ruptured north of Prince George.

Support for the LNG project is highest among males (75%), residents aged 55 and older (75%) and those with incomes over $75K (71%). Support is equally strong across all regions of the province.

In the past, support of LNG projects has wavered. However, overall public support for large-scale energy projects appears to be on the rise. Previous Insights West polls showed half of BC residents supporting a project like this in August of 2013 (50%); this number dipped to 43% by March of 2016. Compared to other proposed large-scale projects, support for this LNG project (62%) is much higher than what we saw for the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion (51%) in May of this year—a number that has also been increasing in recent years. For comparison, overall support for the proposed Trans Mountain Pipeline was 40% in August of 2016 and 35% for the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipelines project, while 39% of British Columbians supported construction of the Site C dam in October of 2016.

“There seems to have been a decisive shift in the minds of British Columbian’s when it comes to support for large-scale energy-related investment projects in the province,” says Steve Mossop, President of Insights West. “Our latest poll showing 62% support for the Kitimat project is one of the highest we’ve seen in several years of comparative tracking on a number of other initiatives. It seems the benefits are finally starting to outweigh the concerns British Columbians have on these types of projects.”

British Columbians are now much more likely to agree that the LNG plant and pipeline project will bring significant benefits all residents (32%, compared to 15% in March of 2016). A further 40% (-2) agree that the development and expansion of LNG will bring benefits to some communities in BC but not to all BC residents.

Regardless of whether people support or oppose the decision, nearly all agree that there are a number of benefits to this project:

  • 90% agree (45% strongly) that it will create new jobs
  • 87% agree that it will create new capital investment
  • 86% agree that it will support economic growth
  • 78% agree that it will lead to increased tax revenue which will go towards health care, education and infrastructure
  • 72% agree that it will lead to strong relationships with Asian countries
  • 70% agree that it will benefit indigenous communities

On the flip side, there are a number of concerns that this project brings about that BC residents are more closely split on:

  • 65% agree that it will promote further dependence on fossil fuels
  • 64% agree that there will be a risk of an LNG spill
  • 62% agree that it will have a negative impact on CO2 emissions
  • 61% agree that pipeline construction will have a negative impact on the environment
  • 57% feel that it infringes upon the rights of communities living along the pipeline path
  • 48% agree that it won’t create many long term jobs (52% disagree)
  • 45% believe that it will have a negative impact on indigenous communities (55% disagree)

About Insights West:

Insights West is a progressive, Western-based, full-service marketing research company. It exists to serve the market with insights-driven research solutions and interpretive analysis through leading-edge tools, normative databases, and senior-level expertise across a broad range of public and private sector organizations. Insights West is based in Vancouver and Calgary.

About this Release:

Results are based on an online study conducted from October 6 – 8, 2018, among a representative sample of 1,309 BC adults, who are members of the Angus Reid Forum. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is +/- 2.7 percentage points. Discrepancies between totals are due to rounding. Click here to view the detailed data tabulations.

For further information, please contact:

Steve Mossop
President, Insights West
778.379.1140
stevemossop@insightswest.com

 

Photo by Province of British Columbia / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0