An Angus Reid poll says a slight majority of British Columbians side with Ottawa’s decision to approve the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project.
Federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau said earlier this week he realizes there is still skepticism over twinning the pipeline from Edmonton to Burnaby, with construction possibly getting underway as early as September and flowing in new segments of the pipeline by mid-2022.
READ MORE: Trans Mountain pipeline expansion gets second green light from Ottawa
Angus Reid asked respondents if the federal government made the right or wrong decision to approve expansion and 56 per cent of Canadians said it was the “right decision”, with 52 per cent of British Columbians agreeing with the move.
Three-in-10 in B.C. believe it is the “wrong decision”.
Only Quebec respondents had a more negative sentiment to the government’s approval, with 40 per cent saying it was wrong to 31 per cent that sided with Ottawa.
Alberta had the highest praise for the government’s decision at 85 per cent saying it was right and 71 per cent had the same opinion in Saskatchewan.
While support of the project remains nearly unchanged in B.C. at 54 per cent, Angus Reid says the 38 per cent opposition in the province is a 10 per cent increase from this time last year.
When asked if the pipeline will ultimately be built, six-in-10 Canadians believe it will be compared to 12 per cent that feels the pipeline will never get finished.
In B.C., 69 per cent say it will be built to just nine per cent that feels otherwise.
Angus Reid says the debate over the importance of economy versus environment is very apparent when Canadians were asked which is a bigger priority in shaping Canada’s energy policy.
Fifty-five per cent says the environment is the bigger priority compared to 45 per cent that put the economy first.
In B.C., 57 per cent say the environment is the bigger priority, and all regions from Manitoba to Atlantic Canada shared the same view including 72 per cent in Quebec.
Respondents from Alberta and Saskatchewan say the economy is more important when considering how to utilize Canada’s natural resources, with seven-in-10 from Alberta holding that view and 62 per cent from Saskatchewan.
Construction of the pipeline still has regulatory hurdles to get through, along with protests and further legal battles.
One of those protests will take place Saturday with a 20-kilometre march from Centennial Square in Victoria to Island View Beach in the Saanich Peninsula.