BURNABY (NEWS 1130) – If you take to the streets of Metro Vancouver, it seems everyone has a view on the Trans Mountain expansion.
But after years of industry and government efforts to have it built, and protest after protest over that same period — just how big of a deal will the project be when we head to the polls on election day?
For Peter McCartney with the Wilderness Committee, he insists environmentalists and others concerned about climate change will make this an issue when they go to vote.
“I think this is one of the key election issues for a lot of our members, certainly, and for the wider public at large,” says McCartney.
Still, McCartney acknowledges pipeline fatigue is setting in for many, with the ongoing quarrel over the project meaning some are tuning out.
Mario Canseco with polling firm Research Co says based on his analysis, other matters like housing and affordability will likely take precedence over TMX on election day.
“It’s not a top of mind issue,” says Canseco. “I think where we see more than anything, voters seem to be more concerned about housing.”
As for where the parties stand — the Liberals, Conservatives and People’s Party of Canada support the project, while the NDP and Greens oppose the expansion.
UBC political scientist Max Cameron believes the Liberals will lose votes over the issue in parts of Metro Vancouver, especially in areas along the route.
“I expected concentrated opposition here to the Liberals as a consequence, and the question is — where do those votes go? Do they go to the NDP, the Greens? Or do people just stay home?”
Another interesting trend to watch — Canseco says support has grown for the pipeline since the Liberal government decided to buy it.