Canadians evenly split on B.C.'s pipeline battle with Alberta, poll finds
The clash between the governments of B.C. and Alberta over Kinder Morgan's controversial pipeline expansion has Canadians divided straight down the middle, according to a new poll.
The Angus Reid Institute found 50 per cent of country supports B.C.'s environment-focused approach to the project, while the other 50 per cent favours the Alberta government's emphasis on economic considerations.
"Albertans themselves are, unsurprisingly, near unanimous in their backing of the project," Angus Reid said in a news release. "British Columbians, on the other hand, are split."
According to the poll, 58 per cent of British Columbians support their provincial government's side in the spat, compared to 82 per cent of Albertans who back theirs.
But Premier John Horgan and his government have plenty of other support across the country. In fact, Angus Reid found their biggest cheerleaders don't even come from B.C., but from Quebec, where 64 per said they support the West Coast over Alberta.
Interestingly, while Canadians are split in their support of the provinces, more said they support Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain expansion than oppose it.
Angus Reid found 49 per cent want to see the expansion, while 33 per cent don't and 18 per cent are unsure.
The strong support for B.C. but softer opposition to Kinder Morgan's pipeline could be explained, in part, by different attitudes on provincial sovereignty.
The poll found a huge divide in opinion over who should have final say in approving pipelines, with 53 per cent believing it's solely the federal government's jurisdiction and 47 per cent believing provinces should have the power to stop pipelines from crossing their land.
The online survey was conducted from Feb. 15 to 19 among a representative sample of 2,501 Canadian adults. Polls of that size carry a margin of error of plus or minus 2.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.