VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Has your view on the Trans Mountain expansion changed in recent months?
A new poll — the second in just three days — suggests support is on the rise. It finds 55 per cent of British Columbians back the project. That’s up from 44 per cent back in September.
Pollster Steve Mossop with Insights West says support has also grown in the Lower Mainland which caught him by surprise. “It did, a little bit, just because it’s been three years of pretty much flat-tracking on the issue and we weren’t sure what to expect.”
“And we saw the Angus Reid Institute poll just the other day, confirming the same thing. And when we have two pollsters saying the same thing, we definitely have a trend that’s worth noting,” he adds.
Mossop notes there is still strong opposition to the project, but tells us it appears the tide has turned.
“The commentary for this is just through the roof. People are commenting and really saying that they’ve looked at all sides of the debate, there’s more information coming through, [and they’re] really being more educated as to the pros and cons of this whole thing.”
He says people between the ages of 18 and 34 are more likely to oppose the project than support it.
So what does this all mean for Premier John Horgan, whose government is heading to the Court of Appeal to ask whether our province can control what flows through pipelines?
UVic political scientist Michael Prince says that court process could actually give Horgan a way out of this.
“If he’s looking for an exit strategy to shift his position, he’s got one. The court could provide a very clear, constitutional ruling.”
Prince says Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s recent pipeline summit with the premiers of BC and Alberta also appears to be playing a role in the opinion shift.
He also points to recent videos featuring Trudeau on social media, where the prime minister outlines support for the project.