British Columbians Want Ottawa to Focus on Environmental Issues

More than three-in-five of the province’s residents are “personally concerned” about global warming or climate change.

Vancouver, BC [November 17, 2020] – Residents of British Columbia are not particularly satisfied with the way the federal government has handled environmental issues, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative sample of British Columbians, 41% think the federal government is not paying enough attention to the environment.

Women (45%) and British Columbians aged 55 and over (47%) are more likely to feel that Ottawa has not done enough on the environment.  

Smaller proportion of British Columbians believe their municipal governments (38%) and the provincial government in Victoria (35%) are not focusing as much on the environment as they should. 

When asked specifically about 10 different environmental problems, at least three-in-five British Columbians said they are personally concerned about five of them: the pollution of rivers, lakes and reservoirs (66%), air pollution (65%), the pollution of drinking water (also 65%), global warming or climate change (63%) and the contamination of soil and water by toxic waste (60%).

“Concerns about climate change in British Columbia are more prevalent among women (67%) and residents aged 55 and over (also 67%),” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “Residents who voted for the BC New Democratic Party (NDP) or the BC Green Party in last month’s provincial election are also more likely to be personally worried about global warming (72% each) than those who supported the BC Liberals (52%).”

Majorities of British Columbians are also personally concerned about deforestation (58%), the extinction of plant and animal species (also 58%), the depletion of fish stocks through overfishing (also 58%), the loss of tropical rain forests (55%) and the maintenance of the supply of fresh water for household needs (also 55%).

Almost two thirds of British Columbians (64%) say that the carbon tax that was implemented in July 2008 across the province has not negatively affected the finances of their  household.

More than a third of British Columbians (37%) think the introduction of the carbon tax in the province has led people to be more mindful of their carbon consumption and change their behaviour—a proportion that rises to 53% among those aged 18-to-34 and 52% among residents of Northern BC.

Results are based on an online study conducted from October 29 to October 31, 2020, 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 data tables here and download the press release here. 

Photo Credit: James Wheeler

For more information on this poll, please contact:

Mario Canseco, President, Research Co.