McCreath: Enbridge Line 5 vital for Sarnia economy
Enbridge Inc’s Line 5 pipeline is getting a mixed reception on both sides of the Canada-U.S. border, new data has revealed.
Less than half of decided residents in Ontario (49 per cent) and Michigan (48 per cent) want the pipeline to stay open, according to a new poll from the Angus Reid Institute. Respondents in Quebec were evenly split between supporting it and shutting it down (36 per cent). More than 20 per cent of respondents in all three regions said they either aren't sure about Line 5's future or can't say.
Line 5 has been in operation since the 1950s, but Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer issued a shutdown order for the pipeline in May, citing concerns of a possible spill into the Straits of Mackinac, which connects Lake Michigan and Lake Huron.
The pipeline brings crude into Canada from Superior, Wis. via Sarnia, Ont., where it is then dispatched up to Quebec. According to Enbridge, the conduit also provides Michigan with 55 per cent of its propane needs.
Enbridge has said it has no plans to voluntarily shut down the pipeline, reiterating that it’s safe and that the Calgary-based pipeline firm has already received state permission to dig a tunnel under the straits.
Ninety-five per cent of the Michigan residents who oppose the pipeline do so over concerns about a potential leak, according to the survey.
While residents who live along the affected route are divided on its fate, the survey indicates, more than four-in-five residents in all three regions admit shutting down Line 5 would “massively” impact their provincial or state economy.
For this study, 1,016 adults in Ontario, 832 in Quebec and 427 in Michigan were polled by the Angus Reid Institute in early June.
A court-appointed mediator is expected to meet with officials from Enbridge and Michigan Aug. 11, when both sides will make their case for the future of Line 5.