Mustel poll shows growing opposition to Northern Gateway Project, not enough jobs

Survey shows growing opposition to Enbridge Northern Gateway project. B.C. residents say project won't create enough long-term jobs.

Earlier today, the findings of a British Columbian survey that was conducted by Mustel Group was released, and showed that a majority of B.C. residents understand that the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline won’t created long-term employment, and that the number of people opposed to the project is growing.

“People get that the project will not create permanent jobs,” started Skeena-Bulkey Valley MP Nathan Cullen, who commissioned the survey.

“We certainly want jobs in my riding, but people are not going to settle for short-term cash instead of long-term value-added jobs.”

The Mustel survey was based on 500 interviews that were done over both landlines and cellular phones between January 25 and February 8, 2012. The poll has a margin of error of +/-4.4% at the 95% level of confidence.

61% of the poll’s respondents believe that “most jobs are short-term and many long-term jobs will be lost because unrefined oil is being shipped to other countries for refining”. Additionally, results of the Mustel poll show that a total of 87% of the contributors were familiar with the proposal and have read or heard something about it, and of that percentage, 46% are opposed to the twin-pipeline in contrast to 37% who support it. The remaining 17% of contributors are undecided or do not have an opinion on the subject.

This is quite a change from an the Ipsos Reid poll conducted by Enbridge earlier this year, that showed 42% of respondents were somewhat or very familiar with the project, and that only 32% of that percentage are against the potential pipeline.

“It appears that at the same time knowledge of the project is growing, so is opposition…the results convey what I’ve already heard on the ground,” said Cullen, “There is simply too much at risk to push the project through.”

Enbridge’s chief representative, Paul Stanway, says that the findings of the Mustel poll are so different than the Ipsos Reid because of the way questions were asked.

“It seems to me that the questions were quite pointed, which we tried not to do in the poll we did… We tried to present people with neutral questions, so that people weren’t influenced to answer one way or another,” explained Stanway.

As for the Northern Gateway Project only creating a minimal amount of long-term jobs, Stanway says that he’s not sure where people are getting such low numbers from, estimating that 1,150 long-term jobs would be created from the project, with half of that number being in B.C., as well as potentially another 200 jobs being created with the marine operations of the project.

Stanway commented that once the Joint Reivew Panel process is over, people will be able to fairly make up their mind on the issue.