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B.C. split on Kinder Morgan pipeline

But local MP says Burnaby is 'off-the-charts opposed'

British Columbians are split on the Kinder Morgan pipeline, according to a new poll by Postmedia.

Mainstreet/Postmedia conducted the survey with 2,207 people on Sept. 7 and 8.

“When we asked about approval of the proposed Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion, we found opinion deadlocked with 43 per cent opposed and 42 per cent in favour,” said Quito Maggi, president of Mainstreet Research. “Despite these numbers only 27 per cent of British Columbians believe the pipeline won’t be built, while 39 per cent believe it will be built regardless and another 34 per cent aren’t sure. Despite their own personal opposition, it does look like some British Columbians have begun to accept the Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion may be approved regardless. These numbers are very similar to the ones we have found in British Columbia in previous polling.”

Burnaby South MP Kennedy Stewart, who’s done his own polling on the pipeline, said the key is in those strongly opposed.

Among decided voters, 33 per cent strongly disapproved of the pipeline, while 18 per cent somewhat disapproved. Twenty-one per cent somewhat approved, while 28 per cent strongly approved. That breakdown for undecided voters was 28 per cent who strongly disapprove, 15 per cent somewhat disapprove, 18 per cent somewhat disapprove, and 24 strongly approve.

“There’s more people that really don’t like Kinder Morgan, and that’s really important because that’s the group that gets drawn into political action. They’re voters, they’re donors, they’re protesters,” Stewart said.

The Mainstreet/Postmedia numbers are also similar to provincewide pipeline polls conducted by Stewart, showing Vancouver Island as the most opposed, followed by the Lower Mainland, with the Interior mostly supportive. Stewart’s polling of Burnaby residents alone, however, showed sharp opposition.

“Every time I did any polling in Burnaby, it was off-the-charts opposed. So much of this Lower Mainland opposition to Kinder Morgan comes from Burnaby and Vancouver,” Stewart said.

The Kinder Morgan question was just one small piece of the Mainstreet/Postmedia poll, which surveyed people on their preferred provincial political party and found the NDP five percentage points ahead of the Liberals.

The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.09 per cent, 19 times out of 20.