Support for Trans Mountain pipeline expansion increasing in B.C.: Angus Reid

Respondents in a new Angus Reid poll said Alberta premier Rachel Notley is doing a good job dealing with the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion issue | BIV file photo

As British Columbia and Alberta continue to butt heads over Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, support for the project among B.C. residents has been increasing, according to the results of a new Angus Reid poll.

In this province, 54% survey respondents said they support the expansion. This is up six percentage points since February, which was the last time the polling company conducted this survey. Meanwhile opposition has fallen to 38% from 40%.

Nationwide, support for the project was 55%, compared with 49% in February. Twenty six per cent of those polled across Canada said they opposed the project, compared with 33% two months ago.

The biggest issue British Columbians have with the expansion is concern about a potential oil tanker spill or accident, with 52% of B.C. respondents saying this is their top worry. This is followed by damage to the overall environment (16%) and a pipeline spill or accident (14%).

“British Columbians themselves remain anxious, troubled and alarmed by the risks associated with a tanker spill in Vancouver’s Burrard Inlet,” Angus Reid said in its report.

“They’re also largely unconvinced that current spill response plans are up to the mark.”

The poll also found that across the country, Alberta premier Rachel Notley is seen as doing a better job of dealing with the situation than both B.C. Premier John Horgan and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. According to Angus Reid, 42% of respondents see Notley as doing a good job, compared with 31% for Horgan and 36% for Trudeau.

Angus Reid

Source: Angus Reid

Thirty eight per cent of those polled said Kinder Morgan is doing a good job, compared with 27% who said the company was doing a poor job.

ecrawford@biv.com

@EmmaHampelBIV