Trans Mountain Pipeline flying under the radar
A recent Insights West online poll surveyed 512 British Columbians and 562 Albertans and found that awareness of the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion project is significantly lower than the awareness of the Northern Gateway Pipeline project.
Compared to Albertans, B.C. adults report higher awareness levels and are more likely to oppose both pipeline projects.
Three in five (60 per cent) B.C. adults are aware of the proposed plans to expand the Trans Mountain system by laying a twin pipe along much of the route, from Edmonton to a dock in Burnaby.
This compares to the almost universal 96 per cent awareness of the Northern Gateway project.
For both projects, Albertans report lower awareness than B.C. residents. Awareness of the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion stands at just 28 per cent among Albertans compared to 87 per cent awareness of the Northern Gateway project.
While overall familiarity with the Northern Gateway pipeline (among those aware) is higher among B.C.ers (87 per cent) than Albertans (77 per cent), familiarity with the Trans Mountain Pipeline is similar between the two provinces (78 per cent in B.C. and 73 per cent in Alberta).
In both provinces, older residents aged 55+ are more likely to be aware of the proposed Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion compared to their younger counterparts.
Levels of support and opposition for the twinning of the Trans Mountain Pipeline vary significantly between the two provinces. Among those who are familiar with the project, Albertans are twice as likely as British Columbians to support the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion.
Seventy-five per cent of Albertans support the initiative (35 per cent strongly support) compared to only 38 per cent of BCers (12 per cent strongly support). This is almost identical to differences between Alberta and B.C. adults’ support of the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline (75 per cent support in Alberta and 35 per cent support in B.C.).
Among B.C. adults, 57 per cent oppose the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion (31 per cent strongly oppose) compared to 23 per cent of Albertans who oppose the expansion (13 per cent strongly oppose).
Only four per cent of British Columbians and one per cent of Albertans who are familiar with the proposed expansion are unsure if they support or oppose it.
"Despite the overall significance of the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, this project has flown under the radar of most British Columbia residents in comparison to the Enbridge Northern Gateway project," said Jane Ha-Trapp, vice-president of Insights West, a Western-based marketing research company.
“That being said, it seems that B.C. residents for the most part simply oppose pipeline projects period – whether it be in their own backyard, or in a more remote region of the province.”
In Alberta, both genders are equally as likely to support the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion, while support among British Columbians is significantly higher among men (51 per cent) than women (22 per cent).
Among Albertans, support for the pipeline expansion project is significantly higher among those aged 55+ (87 per cent support).