British Columbians strongly oppose increased oil traffic on BC’s south coast, according to a new poll by Insights West.
The province-wide online poll found that only 28% of British Columbians agree with increasing the number of tankers in BC’s coastal waters.
The opposition to the tankers was high amongst British Columbians who voted for the Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Party in the 2015 federal election.
The poll reports that 58% of Liberal voters would consider a Kinder Morgan pipeline approval as a contradiction to Trudeau’s initial campaign promises.
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“Many British Columbians believe the approval of the Kinder Morgan project would go against the current prime minister’s campaign pledges on climate change and relations with First Nations,” said Mario Canseco, Vice President of Public Affairs at Insights West. “This includes a majority of those who chose to support the Liberal Party in last year’s federal ballot.”
The majority of poll respondents (74%) say that they are less likely to support oil tanker projects on the south coast due to concerns about whales, about 80 of which are permanent residents in the area.
On Saturday, November 19, thousands of people took to the streets of downtown Vancouver to protest the proposed expansion of the Kinder Morgan pipeline.
About 2,000-4,000 people at Stop Kinder Morgan rally in front of City Hall pic.twitter.com/ReTzMpxECn
— mychaylo (@mychaylo) November 19, 2016
Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain expansion is planned to increase the capacity of the existing pipeline from 300,000 barrels per day to 890,000 barrels per day.
Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson has not shied away from openly criticizing the pipeline. Before last week’s protest, he tweeted his support for demonstrators saying that the risk of an oil spill would “devastate (the) environment (and) economy.”
— Gregor Robertson (@MayorGregor) November 19, 2016
The pipeline would also run through a large part of the Burnaby Mountain Conservation Area, adding to the controversy.
The BC provincial government is leaving the pipeline expansion to the federal government. Justin Trudeau says he will announce his final decision in December.