FORT ST.JOHN, B.C. – A new Abacus Data poll shows a large majority of BC residents supports, or at least is prepared to conditionally accept, the Site-C Dam project.
The province wide telephone poll of one thousand people was conducted from April 15th to the 24th, and it found awareness of the project has reached a new high of 77%, while it remained stable in the north/northeast region at 90%.
There was 73% province wide backing of the third dam on the Peace River, although 24% of those in that majority did cite support conditions.
Meantime in the north/northeast region the support number was 69%, with 22% citing qualifying circumstances.
The province-wide project opposition identified in the poll is almost identical, to what it is in the north/northeast at 25% and 26% respectively.
Abacus Data Chairman, Bruce Anderson, says what stood out for him is that 89% of those polled held the view the province will need more power in the future, and that, “A new dam is probably one of the best ways to meet the growing demand”.
He conceded the poll revealed there are definitely public anxieties about the project impacts, but for many a better alternative is not obvious, and a certain degree of comfort has developed that construction is being handled with appropriate diligence.
This poll also found support for the project is dependent on public confidence, that parallel efforts are made to promote conservation that the project goes through a thorough and independent environmental review, and that efforts are made to listen and respond to local impact concerns.
The survey results come on the heels of this week’s report that the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency found in a late April inspection, that air quality monitors at the project site were not functioning, leading an enforcement officer to conclude, Hydro was not in compliance with the Environmental Assessment Act.
Read the full report and survey below.