Majority approve of all three controversial pipelines

| Filed under: National, Social Issues

Majority approve of all three controversial pipelines

Most see pipelines as safer than rail for moving crude

TORONTO March 16th, 2016 - In a random sampling of public opinion among 1567 Canadian voters, more than half approved of all three contentious proposed Canadian crude oil pipelines. Well more than half approve of the Energy East pipeline proposal (55%), while the majority approves of both the Northern Gateway pipeline and the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion (51% each). The proportions disapproving of these are about one third (Energy East - 32%, Northern Gateway - 36%, Trans Mountain expansion - 34%).

All three pipelines are popular in Alberta, which needs them to export crude oil from the Oil Sands (Energy East - 82%, Northern Gateway - 75%, Trans Mountain expansion - 75%). Apart from Alberta, the Energy East pipeline is especially popular in Atlantic Canada and in the Prairies (71% each). It is least popular in Quebec (38%). The Northern Gateway pipeline is least popular in BC and Quebec (40%) and is popular in the prairies (62%). The Trans Mountain expansion is also least popular in BC (41%) and Quebec (40%). In each case, the pipeline is most popular among Conservatives and least popular among New Democrats.

6-in-10 agree pipelines safest

Three times as many voters say pipelines are the safest way to transport crude oil (61%) as say this of rail (20%). Despite the tragedy of Lac Mégantic, favouring rail is highest in Quebec (28%) and belief in the safety of pipelines is lowest (48%). By contrast, in Alberta, home to many pipelines, they are seen to be safer by more than 8-in-10 (82%) and just one tenth choose rail (10%).

 “It is apparent that public opinion in Quebec is the real fly in the ointment of national consensus on building crude oil pipelines and relieving the Alberta resource industry’s economic isolation,” said Forum Research President, Dr. Lorne Bozinoff.

Lorne Bozinoff, Ph.D. is the president and founder of Forum Research. He can be reached at or at (416) 960-9603.