Survey Finds Strong Canadian Support for Resource Projects
Nearly 80% of Canadians and more than 70% of BC residents are in favour of resource development projects, according to the results of a survey released March 12 by Vancouver-based Research Co.
In the online survey, conducted on behalf of LNG Canada between February 21 and February 24, 79% of Canadians and 71% of BC residents expressed support for resource development projects. And 61% of respondents across Canada agreed that they were “tired of nothing getting built” in Canada and BC – a response that swelled to 67% among residents of northern BC.
In BC, 63% of respondents expressed concern that the provincial economy would suffer if resource projects couldn’t be built, while 74% of those in northern BC felt the same way. Nationally, 70% of Canadians believe the national economy will suffer if resource projects can’t be built.
More than half of Canadians (54%) believe the country’s reputation “is harmed by protests against resource development projects.” In BC, 52% express the same sentiment about the effect of protests against resource development projects, while fewer than a quarter (23%) 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 in BC (57%) want assurances that the impact on the environment is limited,” Research Co. president Mario Canseco said. “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%).”
In recent years, opposition from the public and a wide variety of environmental groups has halted or delayed the development of at least three crude oil pipelines and a number of proposed LNG export projects on BC's northern coast. Coastal GasLink, the BC pipeline that will deliver BC gas to the LNG Canada terminal, is also facing opposition from some First Nations groups, although more than 20 have expressed solid support for it and for the liquefaction terminal project.
Seven-in-ten BC residents foresee a positive economic impact from LNG Canada’s project in Kitimat, which is scheduled to deliver its first LNG cargo before mid-next decade. Broken down by region, over half of Vancouver Island residents (56%), two thirds of Metro Vancouverites (67%) and 86% of those in northern BC anticipate a positive economic impact from the project.
“LNG Canada has received significant support from First Nations at the facility and along the shipping route, as well as from northern communities overall,” Susannah Pierce, LNG Canada’s director, external relations, said. “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.”
Natural gas garnered positive opinions from 69% of those who participated in the survey, while most Canadians are split on oil – 43% offering positive opinions, 46% negative opinions – while coal was the least favoured, with only 24% expressing a positive view.
And 60% of Canadians believe Canada has a responsibility to export natural gas to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in other countries. Exports from the LNG Canada terminal can displace coal used in Asia for power generation, reducing global GHG emissions by between 60 and 90 mt/yr – or the equivalent of all GHG emissions produced annually in BC.