Northern Gateway Pipeline opponents outnumber supporters, Abacus says

- August 24th, 2012

Did you see the latest poll from our friends at Abacus Data? Abacus finds:

  • B.C. Premier Christy Clark is getting a big thumbs up from Canadians outside Alberta for her stand against the Northern Gateway pipeline
  • More Canadians — again, outside Alberta — oppose the construction of a pipeline to ship Alberta crude to a northern B.C. port than support the project.
  • Outside Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, a majority of Canadians do not believe the oil sands in northern Alberta and Saskatchewan generate wealth for the rest of the country.

If you ask me, these findings add up to political trouble for Stephen Harper and federal Conservatives as well as Alison Redford and Alberta Progressive Conservatives who have pushed a pro-oil sands policy that includes support for the construction of the Northern Gateway pipeline.

Abacus found that opposition to that pipeline is greatest in B.C., one reason, one assumes, why Premier Clark, with her own polling numbers dropping through the floor, said earlier this summer that she was not prepared to support the pipeline deal because British Columbians were being asked to take too much of the environmental risk without sharing enough in the financial rewards. Her ultimatum was denounced by Jason Kenney and John Baird, two of Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s closest cabinet confidantes.

Kenney and Baird notwithstanding, the Abacus poll shows Canadians outside Alberta are solidly behind Clark. Asked if they agreed with Clark’s stand, 71% said they did. In Alberta, though, 66% of those surveyed said they disagreed with Clark’s ultimatum.

For this poll, 2,099 Canadians were surveyed but Abacus paid special attention to British Columbia by “oversampling” the opinion of those in that province. There, Abacus found that just 24% “strongly” or “somewhat” support the Northern Gateway pipeline project while a whopping 56% of British Columbians oppose it – inluding 40% who said they “strongly” oppose the project.
In fact, even among those British Columbians who said they voted for the Harper government in the last general election, there is strong opposition to the pipeline with 62% of Conservatives strongly or somewhat opposed to the project.
And on a national basis, support for the controversial project is dropping. In January, Abacus found that 38% of all Canadians supported the pipeline project and 29% opposed it. Now, slightly more (32%) oppose the project than support it (31%).
The number of Canadians who haven’t yet made up their mind about the pipeline has also grown, from 33% last January to 38% now.

Abacus CEO David Coletto writes about his findings here.

Categories: Energy

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3 comments

  1. Andy says:

    About the only thing you can deduce from this nonsense is the stupidity of the average Canadian. Only an idiot would think that landlocking Alberta’s resources is somehow ‘good’ for Canada as a whole. I wonder if that fool Ms Clark even realizes how many pipelines are spread all over BC? How much of her economy is padded by the oil & gas industry in northeastern BC. More BS posturing from yet another politician too stupid for her own good.

    By the way, does this poll use the same wonderful algorithm that Abacus pioneered during the Alberta provincial election?

  2. Gloria says:

    Harper is permitting Communist China, to buy up the tar sands. China is permitted to bring their own people to work the tar sands. Harper said, China can bring swarms over, to build the Enbridge pipeline. China refuses to have the tar refined in Canada. They can pay their own people crap wages, to refine the tar in China. Premier Redford is bringing American war vets to build the pipeline in Alberta.

    The BC people did not ask Premier Redford for her precious money. Christy Clark did, we don’t want her either. We are more than pleased for Premier Redford to keep her precious money and her lethal Bitumen all to herself. The Enbridge Bitumen pipeline, is do damned good for BC? Convince us. Convince us the Bitumen is just fine, spilled in our sea.

    BC is a province of, avalanches, mudslides with loss of life, there are rockslides, earthquakes, forest fires and swift running rivers, that carry away homes and highways, as we speak. Enbridge hasn’t cleaned up their last 804 spills.

    We were not pleased with Enbridge and Harper’s map, that left out all the little islands in the channel, the massive tankers have to do hairpin turns, to get around them.

    Those seas into Kitimat Port, are one of the most treacherous seas in the world. As a northern port. There are hurricane force winds every other day. There are waves 30 to 50 feet high. There are rogue waves higher than a four story building, that come out of no-where. The channel narrow, the tankers massive, that DO have to make HAIRPIN turns, around all the MANY ISLANDS. It takes three miles to stop, one of those behemoth tankers.

    Just this spring. There were three freighters, caught in one of the horrific storms, off BC’s coast. The storm tore their cargo’s off. One ship had to put out a distress call. The storm tore off the top load of logs into the sea they went. They were very afraid, if the bottom load shifted, the ship would capsize. It took hours to reach the stricken ship, in that terrible storm. The other freighters had to turn back, and try make safe harbor on BC’s coast. There is a Ferry that sunk, still leaking fuel. No-one seems to want to clean that mess up either.

    There is still stinking oil gathering on the rocks, from the Valdez spill over 22 years ago. That is a teacup spill, compared to one of those massive tankers.

    Do not try and tell BC about the perils on the land, nor the sea. We live here.

    Right now, the world is not too happy, about Communist China’s aggression. BC does not want to be used as a conduit for Communist China either. We don’t like them in our country, what-so-ever. Nor do other country’s want China in control of the tar sands.

  3. dlniemi says:

    I think that it is time that the protestors of the pipelines have a good look at their lives. The oil and gas industry has allowed them to have a pretty good lifestyle. How many own computers, tvs, (plastic), buy food (trucked to your location), drive cars, ride bikes (can we say rubber tires), travel to work (public transportation or car), BBQ (propane), grow their own food (those seeds didn’t magically appear), wear clothes, wear shoes (rubber soles anyone?), eat, drink bottled water, etc. The list goes on and on. Yes, we need to insist that the companies are responsible and see that safety is followed and that proper precautions and emergency procedures are in place. However it would be hypocritical of us to say we don’t need the oil and gas industry. Just about every facit of our lives is impacted by oil and gas and the products and services it provides. Isn’t it about time we admited that we need to do everything we can to support this industry. Use your protests to insist on proper regulations but be honest with yourselves and admit that this industry is instrumental in providing most of you with a lifestyle you would not have had without it. I urge you to educated yourselves and STOP saying NO without considering t what he full impact of NO oil and gas in your lives means.

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