British Columbians continue to be torn on how they feel about the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. In a poll released on Wednesday, Ipsos Global Public Affairs found that 55 per cent of people in the province polled support the project while 37 are opposed.
But when you dig into the issue more, 63 per cent of British Columbians are concerned about a tanker incident while 82 per cent said they want to see more federal money to protect the coast.
LISTEN: Majority support Kinder Morgan pipeline in new poll
“It is a divided province on these issues. Support is up, the project, British Columbians see it as in the public interest. But you can see even with 55 per cent supporting, there is not a mood for the federal government to bring down the hammer, there is not a mood here to have the provincial government to immediately backtrack on its position,” said Braid.
“We still see lots of British Columbians worried about tanker traffic and environmental protection and wanting to see the federal government do more than they have already promised.”
The poll was conducted for Global News between April 24 and 30. For the survey, 1,907 Canadians were interviewed online and weighting was used to balance demographics to ensure the sample reflected the composition of the adult population.
WATCH HERE: Poll shows support for Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion growing in B.C.
The British Columbia government is opposed to the $7.4-billion Trans Mountain pipeline expansion because of concerns over increased tanker traffic off the B.C. coast. The Kinder Morgan pipeline would increase the flow of bitumen nearly three times per day from north of Edmonton to Burnaby.
The company has said it will back away from the project on May 31 if it cannot get assurances from the federal government it will be built.
The province asked the B.C. Court of Appeal last week to review draft legislation that would allow the government to restrict permits for companies that want to increase the flow of bitumen by pipeline or rail through B.C. The B.C. government has vowed to use “all the tools in the tool shed” to stop the project.
As for Premier John Horgan, 48 per cent of British Columbians polled believe he is doing poorly on this issue while 39 per cent believe he is doing well.
“Having 39 per cent saying you are doing a good job on this issue is not that bad when you are a government that was elected with the support of 40 per cent of British Columbians,” said Braid. “If you look deeper into the numbers, 72 per cent of supporters think he is doing a good job. A slight majority of Greens do as well.”
Horgan does not fare as well when the entire country weighs in. Just 23 per cent of Canadians polled believe the B.C. premier is doing well, while 43 per cent say he is doing poorly.
As for the federal government’s decision to use tax dollars to help ensure the pipeline gets built, 42 per cent of British Columbians support that idea.
As for the federal government using penalties against British Columbia if they don’t support the project, 37 per cent polled in B.C. support that idea while 73 per cent of Albertans belief their western neighbours should be punished.