Poll shows pipeline support

Sixty per cent of British Columbians support the expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline, according to a new Ipsos poll commissioned by Resource Works.

The poll was released Monday, ahead of today's anticipated announcement by federal cabinet on the $7.4-billion to $9.3-billion twinning of the Trans Mountain pipeline.

“For every one person who is against the Trans Mountain expansion, there are two British Columbian residents in favour of it," said Stewart Muir, executive director for Resource Works.

The poll was based on a survey of 800 British Columbians, province-wide. Support for the project was higher in the North and Interior of B.C., at 63 per cent. Support in Vancouver was 59 per cent and 60 per cent on Vancouver Island.

More than a year ago, an Angus Reid poll put the support for the expansion in B.C. at 54 per cent. More recently, in January, another Angus Reid poll found 53 per cent of British Columbians considered lack of pipeline capacity a “crisis.” Canada-wide, it was 58 per cent.

Mario Canseco, president of ResearchCo polling firm, said support for the Trans Mountain pipeline among British Columbians and Canadians in general began ticking up after the Canadian government bought the pipeline from Kinder Morgan Canada, which suggests some Canadians may have changed their stance once they, as taxpayers, had skin in the game.

A little over a year ago, when Kinder Morgan announced it was abandoning plans to expand the existing Trans Mountain pipeline, the Trudeau government tried to save the project by buying the existing pipeline for $4.5 billion, about $1 billion of which was for work that had already been done on the expansion, before it was halted by the B.C. Court of Appeal last year.

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