VANCOUVER, Jan. 29, 2020 /CNW/ - A majority of British Columbians say they support developing a liquefied natural gas (LNG) industry in British Columbia, according to polling by the Mustel Group commissioned by the BC LNG Alliance.
In regions polled, there is strong support for LNG. Support for LNG northern British Columbia is at 73 per cent and in central B.C., support is at 71 per cent. In southern British Columbia, including Metro Vancouver and Vancouver Island, support for LNG is at 55 per cent.
In northern B.C., just 15 per cent of those polled said they are opposed to LNG. In central B.C., opposition is down 12 percent from February 2019 to 17 per cent. In southern B.C. opposition is down 5 percent to 26 per cent from February 2019. The remainder of those polled said they are neutral and a small percentage (less than 5 percent) are undecided.
"Our polling shows British Columbians are eager to see the benefits of adding value to our natural gas by developing a liquefied natural gas industry," said Bryan Cox, President and CEO of the BC LNG Alliance. "LNG is proving to be an opportunity for our generation to work together to develop an industry that adds value to our resource. Our industry has partnered with First Nations from the very beginning and worked closely with local communities and residents to mitigate concerns and generate benefits that will be seen across B.C. and Canada for decades."
When asked why they are supportive of an LNG industry in British Columbia it came down to opportunity: 70 per cent of all those polled said they agree that developing an LNG industry will create new revenue for B.C, which can be used to help pay for the services and infrastructure we all rely on such as health care, schools, roads, transit, infrastructure and public safety.
68 per cent of those polled said they agree that LNG is a value-added industry because it takes our existing natural gas resource and creates new jobs, tax revenue and business opportunities.
A recent report by Central 1 Credit Union backed up the economic benefits an LNG industry will bring to B.C., saying the recently approved LNG Canada project will boost the Province's GDP growth by 0.7 per cent this year. 2,000 people are already employed on the LNG Canada project in Kitimat and the natural gas Coastal GasLink pipeline that will deliver natural gas from Dawson Creek to Kitimat, with $1.46 Billion in contracts and subcontracts awarded to local and Indigenous companies, with much more to come. ScotiaBank's Global Economic Provincial Outlook report (Jan 14, 2020) attributes BC's nation leading growth "to be anchored by work on the LNG Canada megaproject."
Developing an LNG industry in British Columbia provides opportunity for all Canadians. An earlier report by the Conference Board of Canada (2016) estimated developing British Columbia's LNG industry will grow Canada's economy by an average of $7.4 billion per year over the next 30 years. The increased economic activity would raise national employment by an annual average of 65,000 jobs. British Columbia's real GDP would be boosted by $5.3 billion per year and employment up by an average of more than 46,000 jobs per year.
The polling took place from December 5 to 15, 2019 and included Vancouver, Metro Vancouver, Fraser Valley, Sea to Sky and Sunshine Coast, Vancouver Island (Capital Regional District, Nanaimo, Courtney/Comox), Prince George and surrounding communities, the Okanagan and Kamloops. 972 people were polled with results accurate within +/- 3 percent.
SOURCE BC LNG Alliance
For further information: Media contact: BC LNG Alliance, www.bclnga.ca/media, (778) 379-7645