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Residents believe the proposal to expand Fraser Surrey docks will bring economic benefits, but also voice serious environmental concerns.

Vancouver, BC – A proposal to increase coal exports from Metro Vancouver through a new transfer facility has clearly divided residents.

A new Insights West survey has found that half of residents across Metro Vancouver (49%) are aware of the expansion of Fraser Surrey docks proposed by the Port of Vancouver to increase the export of coal coming from the United States, and destined for Asia. However, three-in-five (59%) admit to not being familiar with the proposed expansion.

Lower Mainland residents are split on the plan, with one third (32%) supporting the expansion, and a similar proportion (31%) voicing opposition to it. Almost two-in-five (36%) are undecided.

Metro Vancouverites are of two minds when it comes to coal. A sizeable majority believes that the expansion of the terminal will create more jobs in the province (72%), and asserts that coal contributes significantly to BC’s exports (62%). In addition, 67 per cent think that, if we don’t build the terminal, coal will just get shipped from elsewhere.

However, despite the show of support for jobs and exports, most residents (67%) regard coal dust as an environmental threat, and believe that, because coal is a major contributor to greenhouse gas and climate change, they would not support a project like this one (55%).

The level of awareness of the proposed expansion of Fraser Surrey docks is particularly low in Metro Vancouver, especially when compared to other projects. Earlier this year, 96 per cent of British Columbians were aware of the Northern Gateway Pipeline, and 78 per cent were aware of the Trans Mountain Pipeline.

“At this point, the environmental concerns from residents are evident, but there is also wide agreement on the economic benefits,” said Mario Canseco, Vice President, Public Affairs at Insights West. “While the proposed expansion is divisive, there is a large group of people in Metro Vancouver who are not particularly informed about the initiative, and have not made up their minds about it yet.”

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 ten full-time and five part-time employees.

Results are based on online studies with Your Insights panel members conducted from June 22-25, 2013, among 752 residents of the Lower Mainland aged 18+. 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 the Lower Mainland for age, gender, and region. While statistical margins of error are arguably not applicable to online panels/online studies of this nature, we have assumed that the same margins of error apply as if it were a true unweighted random probability sample: the sample would therefore have a margin of error of +/- 3.57 percentage points, nineteen times out of twenty. View the detailed data tabulations.

For more information, please contact:

Mario Canseco
Vice President, Public Affairs
Insights West