Northern Gateway: new poll, different result

A new opinion poll commissioned by Skeena NDP MP Nathan Cullen shows more people oppose the Northern Gateway project than oppose it.

A new opinion poll commissioned by Skeena NDP MP Nathan Cullen shows more people oppose the Northern Gateway project than oppose it.

The Mustel poll was based on 501 interviews completed by telephone (both land lines and cellular) between January 25 and February 8.

It has a margin of error of +/-4.4 per cent.

Those surveyed were first asked, “Have you read or heard anything about the proposal by Enbridge to build a pipeline that carries raw crude oil from Alberta to BC’s coast for shipment to Asian countries?”

A total of 86.8 per cent said they had heard of the project, 13.2 per cent had not.

The equivalent numbers for an Ipsos-Reid poll commissioned by Enbridge last December were 72 per cent and 25 per cent.

Iposos-Reid polled 1,000 BCers for a 3.3 per cent margin of error.

The heightened awareness indicated by the Mustel survey is not surprising given the Joint Review Panel sessions on the project – particularly the January 10-11 one in Kitamaat Village – received blanket coverage in the media.

The next question was, “Do you support or oppose the construction of such a pipeline?”

Here the opponents outnumbered the supporters 46 per cent to 36.8 per cent, a reversal of the Ipsos-Reid poll which had 48 per cent supporting and 31 per cent opposing.

Undecideds numbered 7.3 per cent (20 per cent Ipsos-Reid).

“It appears that at the same time knowledge of the project is growing, so is opposition,” said Cullen.

In the regional breakdown of the Mustel poll, the highest percentage opposed was on the South Coast/Vancouver Island  (58.3 per cent) while the least opposition was in the Southern Interior (43 per cent).

The North Coast/Interior result was 43.9 per cent opposed.

The Southern Interior had the highest level of support (41.2 per cent) followed by the North Coast/Interior (39 per cent).

The fourth question asked zeroed in on potential job creation by Northern Gateway.

People were read the following statement: “Some people say that the Enbridge pipeline project will create many jobs, even after the peak construction years. Others say that most of the jobs are short-term and that in fact many long-term jobs will be lost because unrefined oil is being shipped to other countries.”

Then were then asked, “Which view comes closest to your own?”

The second part of the statement – most jobs will be short-term – rang true for 60.7 per cent of respondents versus 27.2 per cent with 12.1 per cent being don’t knows.

Surprisingly, perhaps, Metro Vancouver scored highest in the ‘many jobs’  category at 29.8 per cent followed closely by the North Coast/Interior (28.9 per cent).

The region that most agreed with the ‘few jobs, lost jobs’ scenario was the South Coast/Vancouver Island at 70.6 per cent.

“People get that the project will not create permanent jobs,” said Cullen, adding, “We certainly want jobs in my riding, but people are not going to settle for short-term cash instead of long-term value-added jobs.”

Northern Gateway’s communications manager Paul Stanway said the findings of the Mustel poll are so different from the Ipsos Reid because of the way questions were asked.

“It seems to me that the questions were quite pointed, which we tried not to do in the poll we did. We tried to present people with neutral questions, so that people weren’t influenced to answer one way or another,” he explained.

As for the Northern Gateway Project only creating a minimal amount of long-term jobs, Stanway said he’s not sure where people are getting such low numbers from, estimating that 1,150 jobs would be created by the project – with half of that number

being in BC – as well as potentially another 200 jobs in the marine operations of the project.

Stanway added that once the Joint Reivew Panel process is over, people will be able to fairly make up their mind on the issue.

 

Footnote: Eagle-eyed readers will have spotted we went straight from question two to question four. That’s because Cullen’s office did not release question three, telling the Northern Sentinel that it was “for internal use only”.

 

 

Just Posted

Construction of LNG Canada plant still on hold

Construction will only begin following a positive final investment decision

VIDEO: Watch ex-Kitimat video director Stephano Barberis’ new reel, featuring his own new music

Breathe of My Leaves music project debuts ‘Chimera’ album of electronic sounds

Sulphur dioxide pollution over Kitimat could be eliminated after 2024

New process will eliminate SO2 as a byproduct

Kitimat, Terrace home sales up from 2017

Optimism surrounding a potentially positive LNG decision one of the factors

B.C. Green Party pushes for wild salmon commissioner

The role would serve as a unifying force in the provincial government

VIDEO: Canadian Forces help flood-ravaged Grand Forks residents heal

Sgt. Bradley Lowes says the military is used to dealing with traumatic times

PHOTOS: Floodwaters rise and fall in Grand Forks

The flood-ravaged Kootenay-Boundary region begins to heal

Martin Mars waterbombers’ firefighting days are done

Wayne Coulson said his company still hopes to find a new home for the vintage aircraft

NHL playoffs weekly roundup

Vegas Golden Knights have done the impossible and have a chance at hoisting the Stanley Cup

Changes needed for ‘Alert Ready’ mass emergency system

‘You need to strike this careful balance between alerting people to lots of problems — and doing it too often’

Las Vegas Golden Knights move on to Stanley Cup final

Improbable run continues for NHL’s newest expansion team

Oregon’s flooded recreational pot market a cautionary tale to Canada

‘In a broader sense, we are adding legal production to an already robust illegal production’

Chilliwack Chiefs make history with first RBC Cup win

In front of a huge and noisy crowd, the Chiefs claimed their first-ever national junior A title

UPDATED: Majority of flood evacuees in Kootenay-Boundary allowed to return home

Officials hope to have all 3,000 people back in their homes by Monday night

Most Read