Northern support strong for Northern Gateway pipeline

The route map of Enbridge's Northern Gateway pipeline. Photo by Enbridge, Northern Gateway

A new Insights West poll taken near the end of last month has found a slim majority of British Columbians are still opposed to the Northern Gateway Pipeline project.

Taken from July 23rd to the 25th, the online survey involved 823 adult residents and province wide 52 per cent were opposed to the project, while 41 per cent supported it.

The proposed twin pipeline would see a westbound line carry diluted bitumen from Alberta’s Athabasca oil sands to a west coast marine terminal at Kitimat for tanker export to markets in Asia.

It would also feature an eastbound line of similar length, just over 730 miles, which would carry imported natural gas condensate from Kitimat back to Bruderheim, Alberta, just northeast of Edmonton.

The poll found that opposition to the Calgary based Enbridge Pipeline is strongest among young people under 35 and women, at 61 and 60 per cent respectively.

Geographically, and not surprisingly, it was strongest on Vancouver Island and Metro Vancouver at 57 and 53 per cent respectively.

The support numbers were highest among men and those 35 and older at 53 and 49 per cent respectively, and among those here in the north at 49 per cent.

Mario Canseco is Insights West Vice-President of Public Affairs…

“You have two camps that are firmly entrenched and are not changing their minds on this issue. We see that there is many British Columbians who believe that the Northern Gateway will create jobs, 71 per cent across the sea but it jumps to 78 per cent among northern BC residents. Definitely they are the ones who are looking at the situation and assessing it in a very different manner as far as what it can do to their communities.”

Seventy per cent of those surveyed were either very familiar or somewhat familiar, with the project, and since the last Insights West survey on the subject in May of last year, both support and opposition to the project have both increased by three points.

The project was approved by the federal government, albeit subject to 209 conditions, in June of last year.