Vancouver, BC — A new Ipsos poll conducted on behalf of Resource Works shows that British Columbians believe natural resource development is good for BC and that with real discussion and debate, we can figure out how to make this development work for the province. However, residents have some concerns about the quality of debate and discussion that is going on, and question whether it is honest, transparent and inclusive.
Importance of Natural Resource Development
Most (85%) British Columbians agree that ‘natural resource development is good for BC.’ Only 12% disagree that this development is good for the province, while 3% are undecided.
A strong majority of residents also agree with each of the following statements about BC’s natural resource sector.
- 84% agree that ‘It's possible to create green jobs and grow the green economy within BC's natural resource sector’. (10% disagree, 7% don’t know)
- 83% agree that ‘Natural resource development creates opportunities and hope for BC's future’. (13% disagree, 4% don’t know)
- 80% agree that ‘BC's natural resource sector has good opportunities for employment for younger British Columbians’. (14% disagree, 7% don’t know)
- 76% agree that ‘BC's natural resource sector creates good opportunities for employment in high tech jobs’ (14% disagree, 11% don’t know)
Quality of the Current Debate and Discussion
While most (87%) British Columbians agree with the idea that ‘With real discussion and debate, we can figure out how to make natural resource development work for BC’ (9% disagree, 4% don’t know), many do not have positive things to say about the actual debate and discussion they see taking place in BC today.
Fewer than half of British Columbians agree that the debate and discussion about natural resource development in the province is accurately described as ‘transparent’ (37%), ‘honest’ (42%), ‘inclusive’ (44%), ‘open’ (45%) or ‘cooperative’ (46%). Only a slight majority agree the debate and discussion can be described as ‘respectful’.
As shown in the chart below, while agreement with most of these items is higher in the Interior/North, among men and among younger British Columbians, the numbers are still low and among no segment does a majority think the debate and discussion is ‘transparent’ or ‘honest’.
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Interest in Taking Part in the Debate and Discussion
The negativity regarding the current debate and discussion may be dissuading some British Columbians from wanting to take part. Presented with three options, only two-in-ten (21%) residents say ‘I want to be a part of the debate and discussion about natural resource development in BC’.
- Interest in taking part is higher among younger residents (31% among 18-34 years vs. 20% among 35-54 years, 12% among 55+ years).
The largest proportion of residents (49%) may not want to take part personally, but still think it’s important that it takes place, selecting the option ‘I don't need to be part of the debate and discussion about natural resource development in BC, but it's important to me to know that this debate and discussion is happening’.
Nearly two-in-ten (17%) residents select the option to bypass more debate entirely, which is ‘The debate and discussion about natural resource development in BC is not achieving anything — it's time for leaders to act’.
Fourteen percent of British Columbians are undecided which approach they prefer.
These are the findings of an Ipsos poll of 800 adult British Columbians conducted on behalf of Resource Works. The poll was conducted online using Ipsos Reid’s national online household panel between February 2 and 7, 2017. These data were statistically weighted to ensure the sample's regional and sex composition reflects that of the actual BC population according to Census data. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll is accurate to within ±4.0 percentage points had all British Columbia adults been surveyed. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error.
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Senior Vice President, Canada
Ipsos Public Affairs
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