FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — A new Angus Reid poll suggests that a plurality of British Columbians support finishing construction of the Site C dam, with support for the project coming chiefly from older demographics and men.
Angus Reid surveyed 608 British Columbians about their thoughts on Site C, and found that 45 percent say the dam should go ahead as planned, 27 percent say it should be canceled, and 28 percent are not sure.
Women were found to be less enthusiastic than men about the 1,100 megawatt dam, though more of them say it should go ahead than be canceled. Notably, women are almost twice as likely as men to express uncertainty about Site C.
Among age groups, those aged 55 or older are the staunchest supporters of Site C, with close to 60 percent supporting continuing construction on the project. In comparison, only one quarter of B.C. residents between the ages of 18 and 34 support going ahead with the dam, compared to 35 percent in favour of cancellation. Younger demographics are also the least certain about the dam, as 40 percent are not sure about the project. That number drops by nearly half among older demographics, as 24 percent and 23 percent of those aged 35-54 and 55+ respectively unsure about Site C.
The provincial government has ordered a review of the Site C project by the B.C. Utilities Commission, which issued a preliminary report last week questioning some of the assumptions BC Hydro made in planning for the dam.
The poll also suggests supporters of the NDP and Greens aren’t quite as opposed to the project as the leaders of those parties, though BC Liberal supporters were the dam’s staunchest supporters at 70 percent in favour. BC Green Party supporters were the least certain about the dam, but were also the second-most in favour of the project, at 38 percent support for Site C.
The poll, which surveyed 608 British Columbians, has a margin of error of plus or minus four percentage points, 19 times out of 20.