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Poll: Canadians not-so-extreme about oil

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New Canadian think tank SecondStreet.org released public opinion research today that shows a majority of Canadians don’t have the same views towards the oil and gas sector that anti-oil environmental protestors often advocate.

The Leger poll shows that Canadians overwhelmingly believe that if Canada keeps its oil in the ground, another country will simply increase its oil production – meaning we’re not really lowering greenhouse gas emission. Further, Canadians overwhelmingly agree that exporting our natural gas to China can help the environment as it reduces China’s dependence on coal.

“The data shows that Canadians generally don’t share the same views as the anti-oil protestors we often see in the news,” said SecondStreet.org President Colin Craig. “It’s not that Canadians aren’t concerned about the environment, but they realize such issues require thoughtful policies, not simplistic platitudes.”

Specifically, the March 13-16 Leger poll commissioned by SecondStreet.org shows:

  • Canadians overwhelmingly agree that if Canada does not develop its oil and gas resources, that won’t help the environment as other countries will simply increase their production (59% somewhat agree or strongly agree versus 28% somewhat or strongly disagree).
  • Canadians overwhelmingly agree that if we export our natural gas to China that’s good for the environment as it reduces China’s dependence on coal (62% somewhat or strongly agree versus 16% somewhat or strongly disagree).
  • Only 5% of Canadians think we should stop using health care products that are made with oil. This would mean doctors and nurses battling COVID-19 could no longer use ventilators, syringes, IV bags, hand sanitizer and countless other products.
  • Canadians are most open to “significantly” reducing their use of disposable plastics (82%) until alternatives are available rather than significantly cutting back on cell phones and electronic equipment (40%), purchasing vehicles (40%) and produce that is transported over long distances (27%).

To see SecondStreet.org’s policy brief along with Leger poll data – click here.

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