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Six-in-ten Canadians say lack of new pipeline capacity represents a crisis in this country

Against the backdrop of an election year, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is facing increasing pressure amid calls to move faster and more forcefully to complete a new oil pipeline in this country.

That pressure is underscored in new public opinion data from the Angus Reid Institute that shows six-in-ten Canadians say the lack of new pipeline capacity constitutes a “crisis”, while half say the Trudeau government has done “too little” to ensure new capacity is built.

This latest polling finds Canadians polarized along regional lines, with residents of Alberta overwhelmingly taking the view that the situation is a crisis. Where British Columbians are divided, Quebecers take an opposite view.

Regional and provincial divisions are also evident on questions of whether provinces west of Ontario are seen to have an adequate amount of influence and power in confederation.

These questions – and more – are canvassed in a wide ranging, four-part study exploring and measuring the nature and dynamics of Western Canadian identity, the way people in different parts of the country view each other and their institutions, and the depth to which feelings of alienation in certain parts of Canada are felt.

More Key Findings:

  • Oil and gas are chosen as a critical industry by two-thirds of Canadians (65%) – the highest total among seven industries canvassed
  • Seven-in-ten (69%) say the country will face considerable impact if no new pipeline capacity is built. Canadians are less likely to say an impact will be felt at the provincial level (58%) or within their own households (35%)
  • Half of Canadians (53%) say they support both the Energy East and TransMountain pipeline projects. One-in-five say they oppose both (19%), while a handful support one or the other in isolation
  • The highest numbers of Canadians say agriculture (47%) and oil and gas (46%) are industries that should receive more federal attention, well ahead of the third priority: technology and IT (28%)

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