70 per cent approve of Burnaby's pipeline opposition: City

Burnaby Mayor Derek Corrigan -
Burnaby Mayor Derek Corrigan
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When it comes to Burnaby city hall's official opposition to the Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion proposal, 70 per cent of residents support the stance.

That's according to an online Insights West poll commissioned by the city that surveyed 501 Burnaby residents.

Of those polled, 54 per cent are opposed to the proposal to almost triple capacity of the Trans Mountain pipeline between Edmonton and Burnaby. If only those that expressed an opinion are counted, that opposition rises to 61 per cent.

While a large majority, 92 per cent, of those surveyed are aware of the pipeline project, only 64 per cent knew that city hall opposes it.

“It also makes it clear that there are still people who don’t know yet about some of the most concerning aspects of the new pipeline–that it would mean seven times more tankers in Burrard Inlet and that 90 per cent of the pipeline would follow an entirely new route through our city–that this is not the pipeline ‘twinning’ Kinder Morgan says it is,” said Burnaby Mayor Derek Corrigan in a press release.

The pipeline is meant to export oil sands crude to overseas markets (35 per cent were unaware). It would carry unrefined bitumen, not the refined products the existing pipeline carries now (52 per cent were unaware).

Of those who opposed the project, 93 per cent cited concern about the risk of oil spills as a reason. The increase in oil tanker ships in Burrard Inlet was cited by  84 per cent and 74 per cent don't want to see expansion of the company's oil storage tank farm on Burnaby Mountain.

Men surveyed tended to be more supportive of the project, with 63 per cent saying they believe it will lead to long term jobs.

But Burnaby doesn't believe that will be the case.

"We also need to debunk the myth that any new jobs will be created by the massive amount of oil pumping through our city. In fact, once construction is completed, we expect no job increase,” said Corrigan.

The poll results will help shape the city's future actions and communications on the proposal. The project is in the midst of a review process with the National Energy Board.

“We have to continue to inform citizens about the many serious problems associated with the pipeline project, because it is difficult to be heard above the continuous, expensive advertising done by the oil industry," Corrigan said.

The poll is considered accurate within plus or minus 4.4 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

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