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March 16, 2019 | Natural Resources Maintain Strong Support in B.C., Canada

Stewart Muir is founder and executive director of the Resource Works Society, a Vancouver-based group open to participation by British Columbians from all walks of life who are concerned about their future economic opportunities. He is an author, journalist and historian with experience on three continents including a financial editor of The Vancouver Sun responsible for mining and markets coverage. Since Resource Works was established in 2014, the group has gained international recognition for its practical approach to the public challenges of responsible natural resource development and use.

70 per cent of Canadians believe the economy will suffer if resource development projects don’t get built. In the case of British Columbia, a mere 3 per cent of people are strongly opposed to such progress.

A significant proportion of Canadians and British Columbians are in favour of resource development projects, a new Research Co. poll conducted on behalf of LNG Canada — the liquefied natural gas project currently under construction in Kitimat — has found.

Seven out of 10 British Columbians (70%) foresee a positive economic impact from LNG Canada’s liquefied natural gas export project in Kitimat, which is scheduled to deliver first LNG cargo mid-next decade. Broken down by region, over half of Vancouver Island residents (56%), two thirds of Metro Vancouverites (67%) and 86% of those in northern B.C. anticipate a positive economic impact from the project.

Three-in-five Canadians (60%) believe Canada has a responsibility to “export natural gas to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) in other countries”, while 69 per cent of residents have a positive view of natural gas.

For those working hard to keep our resources in the ground, it’s reassuring to know that opposition is quite limited to a small, albeit, vocal minority. Only about 1 in 5 people believe their support for a project would be affected by “Knowing that specific groups have staged protests against the project”, a reminder that noisy and disruptive protests may be less influential than the media coverage might lead us to assume.

When it comes to what causes public opinion on resource projects to go positive, it’s clear that “ensuring that the impact on the environment [of resource projects] is limited” is the #1 factor in building support, and this is true for every sub-group studies by the pollster. Guaranteeing that jobs go to Canadians first is number two.

The survey from pollster Mario Canseco’s firm Research Co. broadly affirms previous public opinion work such as a 2017 poll for Resource Works by Ipsos.

The poll also revealed that at least three-in-five Canadians have a positive opinion of four energy sources: wind (80%), hydropower (76%), natural gas (69%) and geothermal (61%). Canadians are divided on oil, with 43% having positive views and 46% having a negative opinion. The lowest ranked energy source for Canadians is coal, with 24% of residents expressing a positive view.

See the news release for the poll here.

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March 16th, 2019

Posted In: Resource Works

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