Lukewarm Support for Pipeline Expansion in British Columbia

A proposal to reconsider the shelved Enbridge Northern Gateway project is endorsed by 41% of British Columbians.  
Vancouver, BC [October 7, 2021] – Public backing for the expansion of the Trans Mountain Pipeline has dropped in British Columbia over the past year, a new Research Co. poll has found.  
In the online survey of a representative provincial sample, 45% of British Columbians agree with the federal government’s decision to re-approve the project, down seven points since a similar Research Co. poll conducted in October 2020.  
Opposition to the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion stands at 34% this month, up five points since 2020 and on par with the numbers reported by Research Co. in December 2019 (35%).  
“Most residents of Northern BC (60%) and Southern BC (54%) agree with the federal government’s decision to carry on with the pipeline expansion,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “The level of support is currently lower in Metro Vancouver (42%), the Fraser Valley (41%) and Vancouver Island (41%).”  
Across the province, practically two thirds of British Columbians (65%, -3) believe the pipeline project will create hundreds of jobs for residents, while more than half (55%, -1) say they are disappointed with the way the federal government has managed this file.  
Almost half of British Columbians (47%, +3) think the pipeline expansion threatens the health and safety of residents and just over two-in-five (41%, +1) want the provincial government to do whatever is necessary to ensure that the pipeline expansion does not happen.  
In November 2016, the federal government rejected a proposal—known as the Enbridge Northern Gateway—to build a new pipeline from Alberta to British Columbia’s north coast, to export oil on tankers to Asian markets.  
Just over two-in-five British Columbians (41%) agree with reconsidering the Enbridge Northern Gateway proposal, while one third (34%) disagree and one-in-four (25%) are undecided.  
The idea of reviving the Enridge Northern Gateway is more popular among British Columbians who voted for the BC Liberals in the 2020 provincial election (57%) than among those who cast ballots for the BC New Democratic Party (NDP) (38%) or the BC Green Party (36%).
Results are based on an online study conducted from October 1 to October 3, 2021, 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 data tables here and download the press release here. 

For more information on this poll, please contact:

Mario Canseco, President, Research Co.