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British Columbians want to proceed with caution on LNG, particularly on the issue of extraction.

Vancouver, BC – Western Canadians believe that the country’s own energy needs should be the most important component of any new national policy, a new Insights West survey conducted in partnership with BC Business and Alberta Venture has found.

The online survey of representative samples also shows that most Albertans are willing to share oil revenues from the Northern Gateway pipeline with British Columbia, and that less than a third of BC residents express confidence in their provincial government to properly handle decisions related to liquefied natural gas (LNG).

The majority of residents in British Columbia (60%) and Alberta (53%) believe the most important priority when it comes to energy policy, is ensuring that Canada’s domestic energy needs are met before exporting.

The second priority for Western Canadians is reducing greenhouse gas emissions (33% in BC, 29% in AB), while significantly fewer residents place emphasis on getting Alberta’s oil into Asian markets (15% in AB, 5% in BC) or on continuing to export oil into the United States (4% in AB, 3% in BC).

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Residents of the two provinces believe protecting the environment (65% in BC, 59% in AB) is more important that fostering economic growth (35% in BC, 41% in AB). In addition, most Albertans and British Columbians would prefer to export energy to the United States (71% in BC, 62% in AB) than to Asia (39% in AB, 29% in BC).

“Most Western Canadians believe that the country’s own energy requirements and fighting climate change should take precedence over exports,” says Mario Canseco, Vice President, Public Affairs, at Insights West. “It is important to note that the proportion of British Columbians and Albertans who cite greenhouse gas emissions as a key component of any new energy policy is very similar.”

Albertans (51%) are more likely than British Columbians (29%) to say that natural resources are the most important component of the provincial economy. However, two-thirds of BC residents (65%) consider natural resources an important component of their provincial economy—compared to 45% for Albertans.

Pipeline Projects

Half of British Columbians (49%) believe the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline should not proceed, while 38% think it should. The results are much closer for the Kinder Morgan Trans-Mountain pipeline (42% think it should not proceed, 39% believe it should).

In Alberta, 62% of residents trust their new government to properly handle negotiations with British Columbia on the Northern Gateway, and the same proportion (62%) say they would be OK with BC getting a share of oil revenues from the Northern Gateway.


When asked about the production and export of LNG in British Columbia, more than three quarters of residents (78%) think we need to know more about how LNG is extracted to make an informed decision. Residents are evenly split on whether BC should move faster to catch up with other jurisdictions that are ahead in LNG development (41% agree, 41% disagree).

While a majority of British Columbians consider LNG “an important part of BC’s economic future” (57%), just 32% believe LNG should be a priority over other natural resource projects.

Only 28% of British Columbians trust the provincial government to properly handle decisions related to LNG, and one third (32%) believe LNG will lead the province to become “debt-free.”


Overall, sizeable majorities of Albertans (93%) and British Columbians (79%) think their province is a good place to do business.

At least three-in-four Albertans believe that their province is good for companies that operate in oil and gas, alternative energies, mining, pipelines and forestry. Most British Columbians also see their province as welcoming to most of these industries, with the exception of pipelines. Less than half of BC residents (46%) believe their province is a good place or pipeline operators to conduct business.

About Insights West:

Insights West is a progressive, Western-based, full-service marketing research company. It exists to serve the market with insights-driven research solutions and interpretive analysis through leading-edge tools, normative databases, and senior-level expertise across a broad range of public and private sector organizations. Insights West is based in Vancouver and Calgary and has seventeen employees.

About this Release:

Results are based on an online study conducted from October 3 to October 8, 2014, among 802 adult British Columbians and 705 adult Albertans who are Your Insights panel members. is Insights West’s in-house access panel offering on-demand samples for both clients and research suppliers looking for Western Canadian populations. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for both provinces for age, gender and region. Results have a margin of error of +/- 3.5 percentage points for British Columbia and +/- 3.7 percentage points for Alberta, 19 times out of 20. Click here to view the detailed data tabulations for this study in British Columbia and Alberta.

For further information, please contact:

Mario Canseco
Vice President, Public Affairs, Insights West


Photograph: Bill Burris