Support for pipelines up amongst British Columbians: poll

This increase may be related to the shift in government’s attention toward LNG 

Support for pipelines up amongst British Columbians - poll

Support for two of Western Canada’s most controversial pipeline projects has risen over the past two and a half years according to a new poll by Insights West.

In January of 2013, 61% of respondents said they opposed the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipelines project, which was given federal approval subject to 209 conditions recommended by the National Energy Board last year. The twin pipeline would run from central Alberta to Kitimat, totaling more than 1,100 kilometres. By July of this year, the percentage of respondents who said they oppose the pipeline dropped to 52%.

Support for pipelines up amongst British Columbians - graph

Support for the Enbridge pipeline has also risen over the same period of time, as 35% of respondents said they supported the project in January of 2013, to 41% in July of this year.

Concerning the proposed expansion of Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain Pipeline, which currently runs from Edmonton to Burnaby, support has risen from 38% in January of 2013 to 42% in July of this year. Opposition also dropped amongst respondents, from 57% in January of 2013 to 46% in July of this year.

Support for pipelines up amongst British Columbians - support graph

Mario Canseco, vice president of Public Affairs for Insights West said they noticed the change in opinion lined up with the increased attention towards another project.

“The fact that government has really shifted all of its energy into LNG has left these two projects without a champion in the government who’s actively discussing and actively talking about what they want to see happen… There is something going on as far as the government isn’t really discussing this as prominently as they did. And for something that was discussed at length during the last B.C. election, it’s been almost two and a half years since that election and we really haven’t heard a lot about where the government wants to go with this.”

Canseco added the issue is also split when it comes to sex and age.

“The demographic analysis tells the story of how the province currently feels about these two pipeline projects. Women and the youngest residents are decidedly more forceful in their opposition, while men and those over the age of 55 tend to be more in favour, although their support is mostly moderate.”