NEARLY HALF of those British Columbians surveyed in an opinion poll said they are more likely to support than to oppose Enbridge’s proposed $5.5 billion Northern Gateway Pipelines Project.
The poll, commissioned by Enbridge and conducted in mid December by Ipsos Reid, a research and polling company, presented the following information to participants before asking for responses.
“As you may know, Enbridge is the company leading the Northern Gateway Pipelines Project, which is a proposal to build an underground pipeline system between near Edmonton, Alberta and Kitimat, in northern BC. One pipeline will transport oil to Kitimat for export by tanker to China and other Asian markets. A second pipeline will be used to import condensate (a product used to thin oil products for pipeline transport) to Alberta.”
“Project support is well ahead of opposition. Nearly half (48% overall, 14% “strongly”) of British Columbians say they support the project, compared to one-third (32% overall, 13% “strongly”) in opposition. Two-in-ten (20%) are undecided about the project,” indicated an Ipsos Reid release of this morning.
“Project support leads opposition in all regions, among both genders and among all age groups. Project support is highest among Northern residents (55%), men (58% vs. 38% of women) and older residents (58% of 55+ years vs. 47% of 35-54 years, 38% of 18-34 years).”
Further, the poll found that 51 per cent of those surveyed mentioned employment or economic benefit as a top benefit of the project.
“The top mentioned project concerns include “general environmental concerns” (43%) and “risk of spills/leaks” (21%). Less frequently mentioned concerns include “general safety/ protection concerns“(7%), “pollution/ contamination” (5%) and “cost/ expenses” (5%),” stated the Ipsos Reid release.
The poll discovered that a majority of those surveyed were not very familiar with the project and that 42 per cent say they are very familiar or somewhat familiar with the project.
Among northern residents, the poll found that 61 per cent were very or somewhat familiar with the project with familiarity increasing in older age brackets. Men tended to be more familiar with the project than women.
The poll, according to information in the Ipsos Reid release was of “1,000 adult British Columbians was conducted online using Ipsos Reid’s national online household panel between December 12 and December 15, 2011. A survey with an unweighted probability sample of this size and a 100% response rate would have an estimated margin of error of ±3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. The margin of error would be larger within regions and for other sub-groupings of the survey population. These data were statistically weighted to ensure the sample’s regional and age/sex composition reflects that of the actual BC population according to 2006 Census data.”