Fewer British Columbians Would Endorse Pipeline Projects

Support for both the Enbridge Northern Gateway and the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain expansion has dropped by six points since July 2015.

Vancouver, BC – Fewer British Columbians are giving their consent to two pending pipeline projects, a new Insights West poll has found.

The online survey of a representative provincial sample tracked the views of residents on the Enbridge Northern Gateway and the expansion of Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline.

Enbridge Northern Gateway

Across the province, three-in-four residents (74%) say they are “familiar” with the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway. Opposition to the project stands at 51% in British Columbia (practically unchanged since the last Insights West poll on this topic conducted in July 2015), but support has dropped to 35% (-6).

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Majorities of women (55%) and British Columbians aged 18-to-34 (60%) are opposed to the Enbridge Northern Gateway, as well as most residents of Vancouver Island (55%) and Metro Vancouver (52%).

When asked about possible benefits from the Enbridge Northern Gateway, three-in-four British Columbians (77%) say it will create new jobs, and two thirds believe it will support economic growth (68%) and create new capital investment (also 68%). Three-in-five (59%) also expect increased tax revenue, but fewer predict it will lead to strong relationships with Asian countries (49%) or benefit First Nations communities (38%).

Four-in-five British Columbians are concerned about the expected increase in oil tanker traffic at Kitimat and through the passage (83%) and the risk of an oil spill (80%) if the Enbridge Northern Gateway is authorized. Other worries for residents are the impact of pipeline construction on the environment (75%), the possibility of infringing upon the rights of communities living along the pipeline path (67%), the project’s impact on First Nations communities (also 67%), a lack of trust in Enbridge (65%) and Enbridge’s history of incidents (60%).

Kinder Morgan Trans-Mountain

While 85% of British Columbians have heard of the proposed expansion of the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline, only 66% claim to be “familiar” with it (including 70% of Metro Vancouverites).

Support for this project has dropped by six points among British Columbians (36%, compared to 42% in July 2015) while opposition has remained stable at 45% (-1).

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Half of Metro Vancouver residents (49%) are opposed to the pipeline expansion, along with 48% of women and 51% of residents aged 18-to-34.

“The past few months have not made more British Columbians embrace either of these two projects,” says Mario Canseco, Vice President, Public Affairs, at Insights West. “Support for both pipelines is lower than it was last year, opposition is stable and the proportion of undecided residents is now higher.”

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 January 25 to January 28, 2016, among 812 adult residents of British Columbia. 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 +/- 3.5 percentage points. Click to view the detailed data tabulations.

For further information, please contact:

Mario Canseco
Vice President, Public Affairs, Insights West
778-929-0490
mariocanseco@insightswest.com

 

Photograph: Asher Isbrucker