Nikki Skuce

Opposition to BC oil tankers on the rise

New poll shows tough odds for Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline
Thursday May 26, 2011

Vancouver, BC – The proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline faces tough political odds according to a new Mustel poll. The poll showed 80 percent of British Columbians support banning crude oil tankers in BC’s coastal waters, up from 72 percent in a similar 2008 poll.

Enbridge claims to be on the brink of filing its application for the pipeline, which would carry tar sands crude oil to a supertanker port in Kitimat, BC.

“This poll clearly confirms British Columbians are not willing to bear the inevitable risks of oil spills that supertankers would bring,” said Nikki Skuce, Senior Energy Campaigner with ForestEthics. “It is time to see this opposition translated into a full, legislated crude oil tanker ban for BC’s coastal waters.”

The poll’s key findings:

  • 80 percent of British Columbians support a crude oil tanker ban for BC’s coastal waters, while 15 percent think tanker traffic should be allowed.
  • Significantly more British Columbians oppose the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline (51 percent), than support it (34 percent).
  • British Columbians who strongly oppose Enbridge’s pipeline (31.7 percent) outnumber strong supporters (8.1 percent) nearly four to one.

“As the devastating impacts of the Gulf oil spill come to light, more and more British Columbians will be saying they don’t want to risk that kind of disaster on our fragile BC coast,” said Skuce. “If Enbridge pushes ahead despite this clear message from the people of BC, they will see an escalating campaign against their project and their brand.”

If built, Enbridge’s pipeline would see an estimated 225 oil tankers per year traveling the same waters where in 2006 the BC ferry Queen of the North ran aground and sank.

In March, nine coastal First Nations declared a ban under their traditional laws on the transport of tar sands oil through their territories.

“First Nations have taken the lead in protecting our coast and this poll shows the majority of British Columbians similarly support such protection. It is time for our federal and provincial parties to step up and follow their lead,” said Skuce.

In recent months both ForestEthics and Dogwood Initiative have taken their message door-to-door in key federal ridings in the Lower Mainland and Greater Victoria areas.

The poll results released today are part of a Mustel Group omnibus random telephone survey of 500 British Columbians in May 2010. Results on a sample size of 500 random surveys are considered accurate to within +/- 4.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

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Learn more about Enbridge

The Issue

BC's iconic North Coast is too valuable to be put at risk for an Enbridge spill read more...

The Facts

Proposed pipeline would facilitate tar sands expansion by 30%, which is Canada’s fasting growing source of greenhouse gas emissions...and other facts read more...

The Solutions

Protect our coast and the economies that depend on them read more...

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