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Pipeline battle splits Canadians down the middle

While a war of words, political will, and even wine continues to rage between the governments of British Columbia and Alberta over Kinder Morgan’s TransMountain pipeline, Canadians from coast to coast are split evenly when it comes to picking sides.

The latest public opinion poll from the Angus Reid Institute finds Albertans themselves are, unsurprisingly, near unanimous in their backing of the project. British Columbians, on the other hand – are split. Indeed, the strongest opposition to the pipeline’s expansion is found not in B.C., but Quebec.

And as the Trudeau government weighs in on one side of a regional dispute with national implications, its public avowal that the twinning of the pipeline that runs from northern Alberta to B.C.’s south coast will be completed stands to risk alienating voters who were instrumental in delivering a majority mandate to the Liberal Party in 2015.

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More Key Findings: 

  • Asked which province – B.C., which wants to delay the project for environmental reasons, or Alberta, which wants to avoid delays for economic reasons – is making the more compelling argument, Canadians are evenly split, with 50 per cent saying each province’s government is more persuasive
  • As has been the case previous ARI studies, Canadians are more likely to support the TransMountain pipeline expansion project (49% do) than to oppose it (33%). Almost one-in-five (18%) are unsure, suggesting that those who take British Columbia’s side in the ongoing debate are less solid in their position than those who side with Alberta
  • Political affiliation emerges as another key driver of opinion, with past Conservative Party of Canada voters overwhelmingly taking Alberta’s side. Past Liberal and New Democratic Party supporters are more divided

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