KITIMAT, B.C. — A recent survey by Research Co. shows strong support for resource development from B.C. residents and Canadians.
The poll was conducted by Research Co., a firm founded by electoral forecaster and public opinion researcher Mark Canseco, on behalf of LNG Canada, a joint venture that is building a liquified natural gas project in Kitimat, B.C.
The data was gathered from two online studies conducted in February – one with 1,000 adult participants from across Canada and another with 800 adults from B.C. only.
Researchers then statistically weighted the data to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region in Canada and the province. The margin of error — which measures sample variability — is +/- 3.1 percentage points for the sample of Canadians and +/- 3.5 percentage points for the sample of British Columbians, 19 times out of 20.
Data from an online survey showed 79 per cent of Canadians and 71 per cent of B.C. residents are supportive of resource development projects. Across the country, 61 per cent agreed they are “tired of nothing getting built.”
In B.C. 51 per cent agreed, while in northern B.C. that number rose to 67 per cent.
Research Co. added that 70 per cent of Canadians believe the “national economy will suffer if we can’t build resource projects.”
In British Columbia, 63 per cent feel this way about the possible effect on the provincial economy, including 74 per cent of those in northern B.C.
When asked about protests against resource development, 54 per cent nationwide said they believe that they harm the country’s reputation. In B.C. that number shrunk slightly to 52 per cent and 23 per cent said they think it’s possible to have unanimous support for resource development projects.
“When asked what would make them more likely to support resource development projects, a majority of British Columbians (57%) want assurances that the impact on the environment is limited,” said Canseco in a press release. “Other important considerations are guaranteeing that Canadians will get the first opportunity to work on the project (53%) and providing training and apprenticeship opportunities for young Canadians (46%).”
B.C. residents were asked about their views on the economic impact of LNG Canada’s Kitimat project. Seventy per cent foresee a positive economic impact. On Vancouver Island, 56 per cent agreed, as did 67 per cent of Metro Vancouver residents and 86 per cent of those in Northern B.C.
“LNG Canada has received significant support from First Nations at the facility and along the shipping route, as well as from northern communities overall,” says Susannah Pierce, LNG Canada’s director of external relations, in a press release. “We are committed to these supporters. A project like ours is vital to the creation of training, employment and contracting opportunities, and we’re pleased to see that British Columbians and Canadians recognize the importance of resource projects as drivers of the Canadian economy.”
Research Co. also found that most Canadians have a positive opinion of wind power, hydropower, natural gas and geothermal energy but remain divided on oil, with 43 per cent positive and 46 per cent negative. Coal ranked last, with only 24 per cent expressing a positive opinion.
When asked if they believe Canada has a responsibility to “export natural gas to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) in other countries,” 60 per cent agreed.