Metro Vancouver Still Divided on Coal Shipping Facility

Two thirds of residents are concerned over the effect coal may have on air quality.

Vancouver, BC – There is no consensus in Metro Vancouver on the recently approved coal transport facility at Fraser Surrey Docks, a new Insights West poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative sample of Metro Vancouver residents, a majority (53%) say they are “very familiar” or “somewhat familiar” with the Fraser Surrey Docks coal shipping facility project.

In comparison, four-in-five Metro Vancouverites are familiar with the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline (79%) and the Enbridge Northern Gateway (80%).

Port Metro Vancouver has approved a proposal that allows Fraser Surrey Docks to build a facility capable of shipping 4 million tonnes of U.S. thermal coal to Asia every year.

Residents of Metro Vancouver remain split on the plan, with 42% of residents saying they support building the facility, while 43% are opposed and 14% are undecided.

In July 2013, an Insights West poll showed a deep division on this issue, with supporters and opponents of the facility separated by just one point.

Support for building the Fraser Surrey Docks coal shipping facility is strongest among men (50%) and residents aged 55 and over (47%), while opposition is highest among women (48%) and residents aged 18-to-34 (47%).

Three-in-four Metro Vancouverites (77%, +5 since July 2013) say the expansion of the terminal will create more jobs in the province. However, 73% (+6) perceive coal dust as a serious environmental threat and 58% (+3) are hesitant to support the project because coal is a major contributor to greenhouse gas and climate change.

“Now that the coal facility proposal has been approved, the proportion of undecided residents is smaller but the division among Metro Vancouver residents persists,” says Mario Canseco, Vice President, Public Affairs at Insights West. “While the notion of the project generating jobs is welcomed by most residents, there is also an increased level of concern over coal dust.”

Two-thirds of residents (67%) say they are concerned about coal negatively affecting the air quality in Metro Vancouver. In addition, only 43% express confidence that the coal will be handled properly and no problems will arise.

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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 and has seventeen employees.

About this Release:

Results are based on an online study conducted from September 25 to September 26, 2014, among 702 residents of Metro Vancouver who are aged 18+ and are Your Insights panel members. YourInsights.ca is Insights West’s in-house access panel offering on-demand samples for both clients and research suppliers looking for Western Canadian populations. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region. While statistical margins of error are arguably not applicable to online panels/online studies of this nature, we have assumed that the same margins of error apply as if it were a true unweighted random probability sample with a margin of error of +/- 3.7 percentage points, nineteen times out of twenty. Click here to view the detailed data tabulations for this study.

For further information, please contact:

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

 

Photograph: Waferboard