Few Canadians Trust Government’s Oil Spill Response Capacity
Only about a quarter of Canadians trust the federal government to respond to oil spills on land or at sea, according to a $174,000 poll commissioned by Natural Resources Canada.
“Canadians largely agree the extractive sector creates good jobs and benefits local economies,” the Star reports. “But it also found that Canadians are not confident in the federal government’s ability to handle spills from pipelines, tankers, or rail accidents.”
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Only 27% of respondents believed the government could deal with a marine spill, against 46% who disagreed. On land, 32% trusted the government’s ability, while 41% did not.
“What could mitigate Canadians’ fears of an oil spill?” Boutilier asks. “The most popular response from those surveyed was to increase, improve, and enforce regulations and standards for the transport of natural resources (14%), followed by increasing and improving inspections along the transport chain.”
While 46% said energy infrastructure should be expanded despite the environmental risk, 41% “said the economy should take the back seat to environmental stewardship,” he adds.