Survey indicates growing support of Northern Gateway proposal

While those opposed are still the majority, the gap between those in favour and opposed seems to be closing.

The results of a survey conducted by Insights West show a narrowing gap between those who oppose the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipelines proposal and those who support it.

That’s in comparison to a survey the same company conducted in February this year.

The survey was conducted online using a representative sample of B.C. residents. Overall support for the pipeline proposal stands at 42 per cent in their results — inclusive of people who are strongly or somewhat in favour — while 47 per cent are opposed.

The company says that 42 per cent shows a seven-point increase since their February survey. The opposition, meanwhile, dropped 14 points from 61 per cent in February.

That said, the Northern B.C. sample size in the results is admittedly very low. With 749 total respondents, Northern B.C. encompasses just 25 people.

“Unfortunately the number for the north is pretty tiny, I wouldn’t draw a lot of conclusions from it,” said Mario Canseco, vice president of public affairs for Insights West. “But when you’re looking at the province as a whole you start to see an interesting trend.”

He said they would hope to at some point in the future do a study that’s more focused on the northern region.

He said there’s a number of things that could have shifted opinion on the project. That includes the rail disaster in Lac Megantic in Quebec which killed 47 people.

“You see what happens by rail, there’s a lot of people who say well maybe pipelines are the option if rail is going to be so dangerous and cause so many difficulties,” said Canseco.

He also said the political situation in B.C. could be a factor as well.

“You have a situation where there’s no legislative assembly sitting, there’s no opportunity for the opposition to talk about specific misgivings they have about the project, and we have an NDP leader who’s on the way out,” he said.

The B.C. Liberals push on a jobs platform has also done well and grown their base, Canseco adds.

Oil tanker traffic increase off of Kitimat is a concern shared by 88 per cent of respondents, and the risk of an oil spill is a concern shared by 85 per cent.

The survey has a margin of error of +/- 3.7 percentage points, nineteen times out of twenty.

Meanwhile MLA Robin Austin says this same poll tells a different story when it gets into the kinds of concerns people have with the project, saying those problems aren’t going away.

“Looking at the details of it, people are still extremely concerned about the marine side of it. That hasn’t changed, at all,” said Austin. “Those of us who have opposed this project have always said that tankers filled with diluted bitumen on the west coast of British Columbia is a terrible idea and even with all this money, the polling shows people are still very, very scared of having tankers on the west coast and there being a spill.”

He said it makes sense with Enbridge’s major spending on advertising that people with less knowledge about the issue would be swayed in favour.

But there’s still plenty of opposition, he said, and the NDP will continue pushing against the project.

Just Posted

Kitimat resident is Conservative choice for fall election

Claire Rattée is a former Kitimat councillor

B.C. BUDGET: Surplus $374 million after bailouts of BC Hydro, ICBC

Growth projected stronger in 2020, Finance Minister Carole James says

Province announces $100-million grant funding for Northwest communities

The Northern Capital and Planning Grant will go to four regional districts and 22 municipalities

LNG Canada sponsors driver’s license training in Terrace, Kitimat

The $80,000 contribution is part of the company’s commitment to hire locally

Prince Rupert Gas Transmission project searches for partners

TransCanada is renewing permits for its natural gas pipeline project to North Coast.

‘Riya was a dreamer’: Mother of slain 11-year-old Ontario girl heartbroken

Her father, Roopesh Rajkumar, 41, was arrested some 130 kilometres away

Searchers return to avalanche-prone peak in Vancouver to look for snowshoer

North Shore Rescue, Canadian Avalanche Rescue Dog teams and personnel will be on Mt. Seymour

Market volatility, mortgages loom over upcoming earnings of Canada’s big banks

Central bank interest hikes have padded the banks’ net interest margins

Hearings into SNC-Lavalin affair start today, but not with Wilson-Raybould

She has repeatedly cited solicitor-client privilege to refuse all comment

VIDEO: 8 things you need to know about the 2019 B.C. budget

Surplus of $247 million with spending on children, affordability and infrastructure

Tilray to acquire hemp food company Manitoba Harvest for up to $419 million

Tilray will pay $150 million in cash and $127.5 million in stock.

Tears, flowers at impromptu memorial for Syrian children killed in Halifax fire

The family had only lived in the Quartz Drive home for a few months

NDP candidates push for stronger climate action as Singh supports LNG Canada

Singh has tried to project unity in the party while facing internal criticism for poor fundraising and low support in the polls

Rod Taylor reflects on 2019 federal election

The Christian Heritage Party is aiming to run 100 candidates in upcoming election

Most Read