This week’s approval of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion was unsurprising to most political analysts, but a new poll is shedding light on just how divided the province is.
Fifty-four per cent of British Columbians agree with the federal government’s decision to green light the pipeline twinning project, according to an Angus Reid Institute study released Friday. Roughly 38 per cent oppose the decision, while seven per cent said they aren’t sure.
The survey included 1,800 Canadian respondents, with 339 from B.C.
The biggest concern for the project, according to 74 per cent of those 339 surveyed, is the risk of an oil spill or accident from an oil tanker on Metro Vancouver waters.
Despite their feelings towards the expansion project, 70 per cent of those surveyed from B.C. said they’re certain the pipeline will be built – although exactly when that will begin remains unclear. On Tuesday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau claimed that shovels would be in the ground this construction season. Meanwhile, B.C.’s Premier John Horgan has vowed to fight the project all the way to the Supreme Court.
Trans Mountain Corporation, the government-owned company tasked with building the project, has already received 30 per cent of the pipe necessary to complete the project, but there are still regulatory hurdles to get through – all of which involve the B.C. government.
Twenty-two per cent of B.C.-based respondents said they aren’t sure if it will be built or not.
Angus Reid Institute researchers behind the survey anticipate that the Liberals’ fate in the October federal election will likely hinge on their ability to convince Canadians that buying the pipeline was a political win.