Most British Columbians Agree with Ottawa’s Pipeline Decision

Three-in-five residents are unconvinced that the re-approved expansion will bring lower gas prices to the province.

Vancouver, BC [July 3, 2019] – A majority of British Columbians believe the federal government made the right call in re-approving the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion, but a similar proportion voice dissatisfaction with Ottawa’s overall performance on this file, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative provincial sample, 56% of British Columbians (+4 since May 2018) agree with the federal government’s decision to re-approve the pipeline expansion.

One third of British Columbians (33%) disagree with the decision, and 11% are undecided.

Agreement with Ottawa’s course of action is highest among men (66%), British Columbians aged 55 and over (also 66%), residents of the Southern Interior (67%) and BC Liberal voters in the 2017 provincial election (72%).

Almost three-in-five British Columbians (59%) say they are disappointed with the way the federal government has handled the expansion. 

“As expected, dissatisfaction with the way Ottawa handled this issue is practically universal among strong opponents (95%) and moderate opponents (73%) of the project,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “But 50% of British Columbians who moderately or strongly support the expansion are also unhappy with the federal government.”

More than seven-in-ten British Columbians (71%) think the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline will create hundreds of local jobs. 

Respondents are evenly divided on whether the pipeline expansion threatens the health and safety of British Columbians, with 46% agreeing with the statement and 44% disagreeing with it. Two-in-five (41%) believe the provincial government should do anything necessary to ensure that the expansion does not happen.

Only 30% of British Columbians recall seeing advertisements in favour of the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion over the past few weeks. Among those who were exposed to the ads, 32% said they made them “more likely” to support the expansion.

Only 39% of British Columbians think gas prices will be lower in the province now that the expansion has been re-approved—one of the key messages of the ad campaign undertaken by the Government of Alberta. Three-in-five residents (61%) either disagree with this thought (33%) or are not sure (28%).


Results are based on an online study conducted from June 22 to June 26, 2019, among 800 adults in British Columbia. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region in British Columbia. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is +/- 3.5 percentage points, nineteen times out of twenty.

Find our full data set here and download the press release here. 

For more information on this poll, please contact:

Mario Canseco, President, Research Co.