‘Do you think the provincial government should support the Northern Gateway pipeline to carry Alberta crude oil to Kitimat to be shipped by tanker to Asia to be refined, or not?’
British Columbia Issues Poll (Forum Research) (20111216) (Final)(1) (Download Now) Northern Gateway Pipeline Question (Download Now)
That was the question asked by Forum Research, which did independent polling with a random, telephone sample of 1,045 British Columbians on December 15th, 2011. The results are telling:
Do not support the pipeline: 46% Support the pipeline: 41% No opinion: 13%
Among Northern British Columbians, opposition to the pipeline is even stronger:
Do not support the pipeline: 51% Support the pipeline: 41% No opinion: 9%
These results confirm what many pipeline critics have been saying (full disclosure, I work part-time with ForestEthics, a registered review panel intervenor), that yesterday's reported online poll commissioned by Enbridge was bogus. When you reach real people, randomly, on the phone, you get real answers.
Stephen Harper has been hinting today that he might be planning to circumvent due process by attempting to ram the pipeline through, public review be damned.
These numbers reveal the potential of real political consequences for a heavy-handed approach. Perhaps that's why BC Premier Clark has thus far refused to take a position.