Most British Columbians outside Metro Vancouver, Island support Trans Mountain pipeline: poll - InfoNews

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Most British Columbians outside Metro Vancouver, Island support Trans Mountain pipeline: poll

FILE PHTO - Pipes are seen at the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain facility in Edmonton, Alta., Thursday, April 6, 2017.
Image Credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
April 18, 2018 - 4:30 PM

Tensions surrounding Kinder Morgan's proposed Trans Mountain pipeline expansion have been rising over the past few months with a rivalry between the leaders of Alberta and B.C., but the majority of this province's residents are in support of the project according to a new poll.

Overall support for the expansion has increased six percentage points to 54 per cent among British Columbians compared to 48 per cent in February, according to an online poll from the Angus Reid Institute. 

Breaking it down regionally, 61 per cent of British Columbians living outside of Metro Vancouver or Vancouver Island support the expansion.

Most British Columbians also believe the province is wrong to oppose the expansion of the pipeline. Approximately 62 per cent of people outside of Metro Vancouver and Vancouver Island hold that belief, according to the poll.

What's most concerning to those who responded to the poll is the potential risk of an oil spill from the twinned pipeline.

Most British Columbians also believe the economic boost for people in the country should be given a fair amount of weight in discussions.

With the threat from Alberta to cut off B.C.'s oil supply still top of mind, most polltakers from across Canada believe the federal government should be taking a softer approach to keep B.C. from blocking the pipeline, instead of a "hard-line" approach. More than half of respondents also believe Alberta will probably withhold fuel from B.C., driving prices up.

Nearly 60 per cent of poll takers said if that happens, the B.C. government should give in and allow the expansion to be built.

The majority of respondents outside of the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island believe the expansion would benefit their local economy.

Data from the poll also shows that British Columbians are divided over potential risks and benefits of the pipeline. Roughy 35 per cent say the environmental risk outweighs the economic benefit, while the same number says the opposite, and the other 30 per cent believe the risks and benefits are about equal.

For full poll results, go here.

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