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Trans Mountain Pipeline reveals deep regional differences

In mid-September 2018, Campaign Research set out to understand the public’s opinion on the Trans Mountain Pipeline. The survey was conducted among a sample of 1,486 Canadian residents. Our insights reveal that a strong majority, 82% of all Canadians were aware of the Pipeline. Millennials had the lowest awareness, while older Canadians were significantly more likely to be aware. Not surprisingly, Western Canadians had higher levels of awareness than other regions in Canada, in particular Quebec, which had the lowest.

On the matter of whether the public supports or opposes the recent Court decision to overturn approval of the Pipeline, we noted that as a whole, Canadians are divided, with 31% supporting the decision, 35% opposing it, while the balance had mixed feelings or simply didn’t know. In Alberta, opposition to the Court ruling was very strong, with 66% opposing it, while those in the City of Toronto were the most likely to support the decision (40%). Ideologically, Conservatives were most opposed to the decision (53%), while the NDP and Greens were most in favour. Liberals more closely resembled the average Canadian results (33% support, 35% oppose).

Jason Kenney, Leader of the United Conservative Party had recently mused that given the Court decision, he “would not be surprised if a significant and growing minority of Albertans are entertaining [separatism]”. Coupled that with reciprocal BC/Alberta sanctions and Quebec’s opposition to the pipeline, Campaign Research probed on whether Canadians were concerned with the impact the pipeline is having on national unity. We found that a majority, 52%, were concerned with its impact, with Albertan’s being the most concerned (64%). In contrast the least concerned by a significant margin were Quebecers (41%).

A key concern, particularly from the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and its president Perrin Beatty, is that the Court ruling could have “a profoundly negative message to investors both here at home and around the world about Canada's regulatory system and our ability to get things done”. A majority of Canadians, 50%, agreed with the sentiment expressed by the Chamber of Commerce. Millennials were least concerned while older Canadians were the most worried. Mirroring the other results found in the survey, Albertan’s agreed the most with the statement (76%) and Quebecers the least (35%).

“The Trans Mountain Pipeline and the Court ruling has exposed very deep divisions across Canada with a majority claiming they are concerned with national unity. Not only does the pipeline have economic implications, but it could also impact the future of our Federation” said Eli Yufest, CEO of Campaign Research Inc.


This online study was conducted by Campaign Research as part of its monthly omnibus study between September 13 and September 14 through an online survey of 1,486 randomly selected Canadian adults who are members of Maru/Blue’s online panel Maru Voice Canada and were provided with various incentives to respond. The panelists were selected to reflect Canada’s age, gender and regional distributions in line with 2016 Statistics Canada census data. For comparison purposes, a probability sample of this size has an estimated margin of error (which measures sampling variability) of +/- 2.5%, 19 times out of 20.

The results have been weighted by age, gender, and region to match the population according to 2016 Census data. Certain areas or groups may be oversampled but have been weighted to reflect their proportion of Canada’s population. This is to ensure the sample is representative of the entire adult population of Canada. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.

The following screening question was asked in order to determine eligibility for participation in the study

"Are you 18 years of age or older and eligible to vote in federal elections?"

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