British Columbians Want Ottawa to Do More on Environment

Air pollution, the pollution of rivers lakes and reservoirs, and global warming are the main concerns for residents.

Vancouver, BC [October 4, 2019] – A sizeable proportion of British Columbians is disappointed with the way the federal government has dealt with environmental issues, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative sample of British Columbians, 45% of respondents believe that the federal government in Ottawa has not paid enough attention to the environment.

About three-in-ten British Columbians (29%) think Ottawa has paid the right amount of attention to the environment, while 17% believe it has focused too much on this issue.

“The level of criticism towards the federal government on environmental issues is decidedly higher among two groups of British Columbians,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “Majorities of residents aged 55 and over (55%) and women (53%) think Ottawa should be paying more attention to the environment.”

The rating is slightly better for the two other levels of government, with 43% of British Columbians thinking their provincial and municipal administrations are not paying enough attention to the environment.

While more than half of residents of the Fraser Valley (52%) think their municipal governments have not done enough on the environmental front, the rating is lower in Metro Vancouver (44%), Vancouver Island (42%), Southern BC (39%) and Northern BC (36%).

When asked about their personal concerns about environmental problems, a majority of British Columbians mentioned air pollution (58%), the pollution of rivers, lakes and reservoirs (57%), global warming or climate change (55%) and the pollution of drinking water (55%).

Other issues that have British Columbians personally concerned are the contamination of soil and water by toxic waste (50%), deforestation and the clearance of naturally occurring forests (46%), the extinction of plant and animal species (45%), the depletion of fish stocks through overfishing (also 45%), the loss of tropical rain forests (44%) and the maintenance of the supply of fresh water for household needs (41%).


Results are based on an online study conducted from September 26 to September 29, 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 plus or minus 3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

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.