Talks between Wet'suwet'en and B.C. over pipeline break down
Canadians are split on whether they support the recent protests against the proposed Coastal GasLink pipeline in British Columbia, according to an Angus Reid Institute survey released Thursday.
Two-in-five Canadians, or 39 per cent of respondents, said they support the protests, which are taking place across the country in solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs who are opposed to the $6.6-billion natural gas pipeline that crosses through their territory. The protests have impeded key rail services and have sparked warnings about supply chain disruptions.
Less than half, or 48 per cent, of respondents said they oppose the protests.
Supporters of the protests are most likely to come from B.C., which is at the heart of the conflict, and Quebec. But within each of the those provinces, opinion is far from unanimous. Forty-six per cent of British Columbians support the protests, compared with 49 per cent who oppose them. In Quebec, 47 per cent are supportive while 37 per cent are opposed.
Opponents of the protests are more likely to come from Alberta and the Prairies (Saskatchewan and Manitoba are grouped together). In Alberta, 74 per cent of respondents said they oppose the protests, while 19 per cent support them. In the Prairies, 58 per cent are opposed while 31 per cent are supportive.
Regardless of where they stand, Canadians, as a whole, are relatively confident the pipeline will be completed even if it’s delayed, the survey found.
More than half of respondents (57 per cent) said the pipeline may take longer to build because of the protests, but it will likely still be completed. Meanwhile, 34 per cent said they have full confidence it will be completed, delays or no delays.
The survey also found that most Canadians, or 63 per cent, support further discussions between TC Energy, the company that owns the pipeline, and the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs.
The Angus Reid Institute conducted the online survey of 1,508 Canadian adults between February 10-12. The margin of error is plus or minus 2.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.