Poll shows high opposition to Enbridge even as majority believe it will be built

A poll by Justason Market Intelligence shows high level of opposition to the Enbridge Northern Gateway project proposal.

A poll by Justason Market Intelligence indicates that opposition to the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipelines proposal remains strong.

The company used telephone and online methods to reach 600 B.C. adults. The poll was sponsored by Dogwood Initiative, ForestEthics Advocacy, Northwest Institute for Bioregional Research and West Coast Environmental Law.

On awareness of the project, the poll found 92 per cent of respondents knew of the proposal.

The poll, which was conducted between January 13 to 19, finds that awareness of the project has grown since March 2012, from 78 per cent then to the 92 per cent today.

Opposition, whether strongly or somewhat, peaks at 64 per cent, against 29 per cent in support and seven per cent unsure.

To get those results, the company asked the following question: Up until now, crude oil supertankers have not entered B.C.’s inside passage because of concerns about oil spills. The federal government is now considering allowing crude oil supertankers through these waters. Do you support or oppose allowing crude oil supertankers through B.C.’s northern inside coastal waters? Is that strongly or somewhat?

The company also tracked the changes in time to that question. It found opposition in March 2012 at 66 per cent, and opposition peaked in October 2012.

Support meanwhile, while not strong compared to opposition, actually grew. In March 2012 support stood at 22 per cent, while today it’s 29 per cent.

Meanwhile the poll also asked about trust in the review process, and found 51 per cent distrusted the Joint Review Panel which reviewed the Enbridge proposal.

That said, 49 per cent of people said they’d be more supportive of the project if Premier Christy Clark’s five conditions for oil pipelines and tankers in B.C. are met. Twenty-six per cent of respondents said they’d be more opposed if they were met, the same amount said they didn’t know or neither.

As opposition in the poll to the project is high, that hasn’t stopped people from seemingly believing it will happen. Sixty-four per cent of respondents said they believed Enbridge will be successful in building its Northern Gateway project. Just 12 per cent don’t believe that.