Stalled pipe­lines a cri­sis: poll re­sults

PressReader - Tke Channel - Stalled pipe­lines a cri­sis: poll re­sults
ED­MON­TON • Nearly twothirds of Cana­di­ans be­lieve that the lack of pipe­line space to move oil con­sti­tutes a cri­sis in Canada, ac­cord­ing to new polling from the An­gus Reid In­sti­tute.The re­search comes as Al­berta is on the cusp of a pro­vin­cial elec­tion and Prime Min­is­ter Justin Trudeau’s gov­ern­ing Lib­er­als will face the elec­torate in Oc­to­ber. There’s lit­tle doubt that, whether pipe­line ca­pac­ity con­sti­tutes an ob­jec­tive cri­sis or not, it’s top of mind for vot­ers in many parts of the coun­try, and es­pe­cially in Al­berta. On Mon­day, Brian Jean, the for­mer leader of Al­berta’s Wil­drose party, who’s since been re­placed by Ja­son Ken­ney, who formed a new party out of Al­berta’s con­ser­va­tives, wrote that “Canada is bro­ken.”“None of our po­lit­i­cal lead­ers un­der­stand the cur­rent anger of Al­ber­tans,” Jean wrote. “Al­ber­tans want a ‘Mad as hell’ Party, that isn’t go­ing to take it any­more.”All this con­spires to make pipe­line pol­i­tics and the car­bon tax two of the most con­tentious is­sues, in both the Al­berta and fed­eral elec­tion. In re­cent weeks, two truck con­voys had been plan­ning to drive from Al­berta to Ot­tawa over sev­eral days in Fe­bru­ary to demon­strate sup­port for pipe­line con­struc­tion. One of those, or­ga­nized by Rally 4 Re­sources, has since been can­celled. The other, af­fil­i­ated with Yel­low Vests Canada, is still in­tend­ing to go ahead.When Trudeau vis­ited Regina last week, steel worker Court­land Klein, wear­ing an “I love Cana­dian pipe­lines” T-shirt, con­frontedhim over Trans Moun­tain. “We’re just get­ting hosed on our oil something ter­ri­bly,” said Klein. “Get this pipe­line in the ground. Get it out to the coast and you’re go­ing to have a whole bunch more money that you can spend like a drunken farm wife af­ter har­vest in New York City.”The lack of pipe­line ca­pac­ity is a ma­jor fac­tor in the price dif­fer­en­tial be­tween the price per bar­rel of western Cana­dian Se­lect — the oil from Al­berta’s oil­sands — and other grades of oil. This dif­fer­en­tial, when it bot­tomed out in late Novem­ber, was cost­ing the econ­omy as much as $80 mil­lion per day, said NDP pre­mier Rachel Not­ley.“These num­bers start to re­ally in­di­cate that it is no longer, that polling on this is­sue, and the num­bers we’ve seen on this is­sue are no longer solely driven by theAl­berta-Saskatchewan viewpoint and that, when we look at the ques­tion of whether it’s a cri­sis or whether we look at a ques­tion of pri­or­ity, we’re start­ing to see thatthere is a more Pan-Canadian view,” said Shachi Kurl, the ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the An­gus Reid In­sti­tute. “The mushy mid­dle, or those that don’t nec­es­sar­ily have an opin­ion on the is­sue, their views are ac­tu­ally start­ing to har­den and gel.”But the poll also finds that there are strong re­gional dis­par­i­ties and that, in other regions, is­sues such as costof liv­ing is top-of-mind, andnot pipe­line ca­pac­ity. While 58 per cent of Cana­di­ans said new oil pipe­line ca­pac­ity is a cri­sis, only 40 per cent of re­spon­dents in Que­bec agreed. In B.C., 53 per cent of re­spon­dents said it was a cri­sis.The per­cep­tion that it’s a cri­sis is stark­est in Al­berta, where 87 per cent of re­spon­dents agreed and in Saskatchewan, where 74 per cent of re­spon­dents agreed. And while pipe­line pol­i­tics have dom­i­nated the news, Cana­di­ans mostly sup­port both Trans Moun­tain — an ex­pan­sion project be­tween Ed­mon­ton and Burn­aby, B.C. — and En­ergy East, the now de­funct line from Hardisty, Alta., to Saint John, N.B. Fifty-three per cent of re­spon­dents sup­port both, while just 19 per cent op­pose both; 17 per cent are un­sure.“The out­lier on this is­sue is Que­bec,” the re­port says. “Sup­port leans heav­ily in the di­rec­tion of build­ing both pipe­lines in ev­ery re­gion out­side of that prov­ince.”Kurl said for the Trudeau Lib­er­als, this file will con­tinue to be dif­fi­cult. “For so long this de­bate has been char­ac­ter­ized as one of en­ergy and the en­vi­ron­ment,” she said. “This is a big deal and this is about more than just a pipe­line, this is now I think be­ing viewed within the frame­work of Canada’s abil­ity to vouch­safe, at least in the shortTHOSE THAT DON’T NEC­ES­SAR­ILY HAVE AN OPIN­ION ON THE IS­SUE, THEIR VIEWS ARE AC­TU­ALLY START­ING TO HAR­DEN AND GEL.term, its eco­nomic fu­ture.”Fur­ther di­vi­sions ex­ist, too. Fifty-four per cent ofCana­di­ans be­tween 18 and 34 years of age agree this is not a cri­sis, whereas 67 per cent of Cana­di­ans who are older than 55 be­lieve that it is a cri­sis.When it comes to per­cep­tions of the fed­eral govern­ment, 63 per cent of re­spon­dents in Western Canada — Bri­tish Columbia, Al­berta, Saskatchewan and Man­i­toba — say the fed­eral govern­ment has hurt the prov­ince’s econ­omy in the “past cou­ple of years.” And, while Cana­di­ans from On­tario and the east tend to agree that the west has the right amount of eco­nomic in­flu­ence and po­lit­i­cal power, un­sur­pris­ingly, those in the west dis­agree, and be­lieve they have too lit­tle power: 68 per cent in B.C., 77 per cent in Al­berta, 75 per cent in Saskatchewan and 61 per cent in Man­i­toba.The poll, con­ducted on­line from Dec. 21, 2018 to Jan. 3. 2019, drew from a sam­ple of 4,024 Cana­dian adults who are mem­bers of the An­gus Reid Fo­rum, an on­line group of opin­ion-havers. The mar­gin of er­ror is +/- 2.5 per cent 19times out of 20.

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