MRO Magazine

Majority of Quebecers oppose the Energy East pipeline, poll

Nearly six out of 10 people in Quebec are opposed to TransCanada's Energy East pipeline project, according to a new poll released today, while one year ago, 70 per cent of people in Quebec supported the pipeline.


November 29, 2015
By PEM Magazine

“This new information shows that the more Quebecers learn about the Energy East project, the more they reject it. The Quebec government must acknowledge this clear majority opposing large-scale oil projects crossing the province,” says Karel Mayrand, of the David Suzuki Foundation.

The poll – conducted by SOM surveyed 1,007 people in Quebec – on behalf of Equiterre, the David Suzuki Foundation, Greenpeace Canada and Nature Québec shows that 57 per cent of respondents “disagree” with the building of the pipeline while 58 per cent want to halt the current review process of Energy East, which is expected to carry and export tar sands oil across Quebec.

The poll also shows that only 35 per cent of Quebecers “agree” with the Energy East pipeline and, among them, only 10 per cent said they “fully agree” with the project. Within the Montreal Metropolitan Area, the number of people against Energy East is 60 per cent. Last September, the Montreal Metropolitan Community (MMC) – which is expected to unveil its position in early December – conducted a public consultation regarding the Energy East project. Today’s poll reveals a dramatic turn in people’s opinion. Indeed, those who support the tar sands pipeline have shrunk by half since 2014, when 70 percent of Quebecers were in favor of the project, according to a poll conducted by CROP.

“TransCanada’s refusal to assess the effects on global GHG emissions, to count the Saint Lawrence River as part of the impact zone or to consider a major equipment rupture scenario greatly weakens its credibility among the population,” says Christian Simard of Nature Québec


When asked whether or not the federal government should suspend the current review process for Energy East so that it can be revised to ensure decisions are based on science and conform to the public interest, 58 per cent of respondents said “yes”, almost twice as many as the 30 per cent who answered “no.”

“The majority of the population in Quebec is asking Prime Minister Trudeau to halt the assessment of the Energy East pipeline, which is biased in favor of the oil companies,” says Patrick Bonin, climate and energy campaigner for Greenpeace. “Continuing to assess Energy East would be a sham since the current process is anti-democratic and was set up under Harper’s reign to facilitate the approval of pipeline projects. Time is running out and Mr. Trudeau must take action, because TransCanada intends to file its final draft by the end of the year.”

On November 12, more than 100 Canadian groups sent a letter to Prime Minister Trudeau asking him to keep his promise and stop the current assessments conducted by the National Energy Board.

“During the last election, Prime Minister Trudeau stated that ‘governments deliver permits, but it is the population who must grant its permission,'” said Steven Guilbeault of Equiterre, adding, “Without the support of the population, the pipeline can’t be built.”

This SOM survey was conducted by phone among 1,007 people throughout Quebec, between November 4 and November 16, 2015.

Link to the results of the survey.