Two in Three British Columbians Say Northern Gateway Is Inevitable

Poll finds they oppose the project, distrust federal process, but see little recourse.

By Kai Nagata, Today,

New polling from Vancouver-based Justason Market Intelligence finds a majority of British Columbians continue to oppose crude oil tanker traffic on the province’s North Coast. At the same time, most believe Enbridge’s Northern Gateway pipeline proposal will eventually go through.

The poll was commissioned by the Dogwood Initiative, ForestEthics Advocacy, the Northwest Institute for Bioregional Research and West Coast Environmental Law.

Only 29 per cent of those surveyed said they support “allowing crude oil supertankers through B.C.’s northern inside coastal waters,” while 64 per cent said they are opposed. Fully 50 per cent said they are “strongly opposed.” However, 64 per cent also said they believed the pipeline and tanker proposal would succeed, while only 12 per cent said it would fail.

“The purpose of that question was to get a sense of whether people have a sense of inevitability about this,” said JMI principal Barb Justason. “I had a bit of a free rein here, and I was curious.” The poll was conducted between Jan. 13 and 19 — one month after the National Energy Board recommended the federal government approve the Enbridge proposal.

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