The majority of North Burnaby residents want to see the neighbourhood's Chevron refinery stay open, according to a survey commissioned by Burnaby Douglas MP Kennedy Stewart.
The results, released today, were based on an automated phone survey in which 12,498 Burnaby homes north of Lougheed Highway were contacted and 1,231 responded. Of those who had an opinion on the matter, 36 per cent want the refinery closed, and 64 per cent wanted it open.
"These survey results tell me a solid majority of local residents recognize the positive economic impacts of the Chevron refinery," said Stewart in a press release. "However, these numbers also show that many continue to have legitimate concerns about the environmental impacts of the refinery's daily operations."
Stewart commissioned the survey because he has been approved as an intervenor at the upcoming National Energy Board hearing for Chevron's "priority destination designation" application. In July, Chevron applied to the board for prioritized access to Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain pipeline, to help stabilize and secure the refinery's oil supply amid high demand on the pipeline.
"I support Chevron's application for priority destination designation. There would be clear negative consequences for British Columbia if the Burnaby Chevron refinery were to close, including having to import gas and jet fuel from abroad by sea or rail to meet local demand," said Stewart. "However, this is an important opportunity to push Chevron to improve their environmental standards and to persuade them to use the cleanest technology available while operating in our backyards."
The question asked in Stewart's survey was: "Burnaby's Chevron refinery provides one-third of Metro Vancouver's gasoline but is also a major
polluter. Their refinery is in danger of closing, ending its emissions but also driving up local gas
prices." Respondents were then asked to push a button to register their opinion. Forty-four per cent of the respondents supported keeping the refinery open, while 25 were opposed, and 31 per cent were undecided.