Burnaby and New Westminster residents stand apart in Metro Vancouver in their desire for local governments to continue in the fight against the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project.
In a survey taken before the Federal Court of Appeal quashed government approval of the project, only 36 per cent of Burnaby and New West residents (grouped together in the data) said they want municipal governments to work with the federal government to get it built. A slight majority – 53 per cent – said they want to see mayors and councillors fighting the pipeline, while 11 per cent said they were undecided on the matter.
The figures come from a research project released today from Mustel Group and FleishmanHillard HighRoad in partnership with the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade.
Over the region, support for the pipeline expansion was much stronger, with 57 per cent saying they want to see municipalities working to have it built and 35 per cent wanting to see it fought. Support was even stronger in the business community, at 71 per cent.
Support for the pipeline was strongest (67 per cent) in the southwest (Richmond, South Delta and Tsawassen) and northeast (Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody and Maple Ridge).
The survey looks at a wide variety of issues heading into the Oct. 20 civic election that will see British Columbians choose their mayors, councillors and school trustees. (In Vancouver, voters will also choose park board commissioners.)
Burnaby and New West residents listed affordable housing as the top issue (37 per cent), followed by transportation (22 per cent). The opioid crisis was listed as the lowest priority for municipal spending.
The vote in Metro Vancouver “will take place against a backdrop of significant concern and anxiety among voters and politicians about quality of life and affordability in the region,” according to the report.
“Metro Vancouver has long enjoyed a reputation for an excellent quality of life, but residents and businesses seem to be falling out of love with the place we call home.”
Unaffordability has left many pessimistic about their future in the region, with nearly half (46 per cent) saying they’ve considered moving away.