Cathy McLeod surveys resource issues

MP: most locals support Conservative's plan for development

  • Jan. 16, 2013 6:00 a.m.
Cathy McLeod

Cathy McLeod

Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo MP Cathy McLeod has released the results of a survey she conducted recently, polling her constituents on responsible resource development.

The majority expressed approval for the federal government’s current strategy on the issue, she says.

“I find these numbers encouraging, as it suggests many of my constituents support the government’s action to balance the need for economic development with environmental, health and safety concerns.”

Upon tallying the results on Dec. 7, her office had received 974 responses from across the riding.

“I sent a notice to everyone’s home and was quite surprised – 1,000 responses is quite a significant number of responses.”

A total of 606 of these (62 per cent) of her survey respondents were in support of the Conservative government’s strategy, 260 (27 per cent) indicated they opposed it, 60 (six per cent) were unsure, and 48 (five per cent) were in support with questions or concerns.

McLeod adds she was also pleased to see plenty of positive comments were received, despite the usual trend of negative feedback more commonly shared than when people are generally feeling good about an issue.

“So, many people responded saying that pipelines are important. Many had the proviso in their response that it needed to be balanced in protecting the environment.”

Regarding who takes environmental responsibility for potential future cleanup costs after resources are developed, run their course and then closed, McLeod explained it is increasingly being made part of the approval process.

“A lot more frequently, as part of the environmental assessment processes, bonds are getting put in place and there are requirements being put on the companies in terms of what their ultimate responsibilities are.”

While McLeod’s mail out was only an informal survey, the local MP notes just as there are certain benefits that come from scientific processes, there are others from general “snapshots” of public perception.

“Ninety per cent of the gasoline in the Lower Mainland comes though the Kinder Morgan [Trans Mountain] pipeline, it is a critical source. So, I was trying to get a sense on how people are feeling.”