Increased costs for TMX impacts support for project

TMX support wavers

For the first time in five years, polling suggests more B.C. residents oppose to the Trans Mountain pipeline than support the project.

Support for the $12.6 billion TMX pipeline has dropped from 55 per cent to 48 per cent across Canada, due to residents learning the rising costs. 

Canada-wide, support sits below majority for the first time in almost two years after taxpayers have discovered the costs associated with building the pipeline, according to a new study from the Angus Reid Institute.

TransMountain announced Feb. 7 that the company's pipeline expansion between Edmonton and Burnaby would now cost about $12.6 billion, a large jump from the $7.2 billion the federal government initially estimated, or the previous owner Kinder Morgan's estimation of $5.4 billion.

Before initially learning of the new estimated costs, 55 per cent of Canadians supported the TMX expansion. But since the increased costs were revealed, that support has dropped to 48 per cent.

Canadians are now nearly divided with 48 per cent in support of the expansion and 45 per cent in opposition.

Other findings suggest 61 per cent of Quebec residents and 47 per cent of Ontario residents are now in opposition of the project — the highest levels for both provinces since the start of 2018. 

The new cost estimate does little to sway public opinion in Alberta. Support drops marginally, from 88 per cent to 85 per cent in that province.

Older Canadians aged over 55 still offer majority support for the project while those aged 35 to 54 are divided. Younger Canadians between 18 and 34 are leaning towards opposition as a result of the cost changes.

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