Slim majority of Canadians, British Columbians now supports pipeline project; opposition remains strong

THE reassertion of jurisdictional issues in the battle between B.C. and Alberta over the completion of the Kinder Morgan pipeline project is sharpening public opinion on the matter.

But, while more Canadians appear to be losing patience with the B.C. government’s delay tactics, British Columbians themselves remain anxious, troubled and alarmed by the risks associated with a tanker spill in Vancouver’s Burrard Inlet. They’re also largely unconvinced that current spill response plans are up to the mark.

That said, the vast majority of British Columbians – including one-third who currently oppose the project – say a court ruling that its provincial government does not have the constitutional authority to block the project would be enough to give in and allow the pipeline to be twinned.

Political attempts to strong-arm B.C. – such as Alberta cutting back oil exports to the province or Ottawa withholding infrastructure dollars – appear to be less effective in getting those currently opposed to the project to say “yes”.


More Key Findings:

  • Two-in-three Canadians (65%) now say the B.C. government is wrong to try to block the pipeline, a 10-percentage-point increase since February
  • The possibility of an oil spill off the coast Metro Vancouver looms large in the minds of B.C. residents, saying by a margin of five-to-one that it is the single biggest concern they have about the TransMountain project
  • Asked which leaders in the conflict are doing a good or bad job, just over four-in-10 Canadians say Rachel Notley has done a good job (43%). Fewer say this of the Prime Minister (36%) and B.C. Premier John Horgan (30%)
  • British Columbians are deeply divided on the overall risks and benefits of the pipeline. Some 35 per cent say the environmental risk outweighs the economic benefit. The same number (35%) say the opposite, and the rest (30%) say the risks and benefits are about equal