Asked if energy is more important than environment Canadians are split 51-49. Ipsos Reid poll for CBC shows no clear opinion on that opinion.
Even more important is 41% of Canadians don't know or don't care about oil sands implications one way or the other. Are 40% of Canadians naturally oblivious or just living under a rock?
Maritimers are mostly concerned about energy over environment - it couldn't be Fort McMurray jobs tainting that opinion could it? Surprisingly Ontario has a economic over environment bias too.
The moral of this story is that Canadians are not yet decided on the best options for oil sands development. Our research at Cambridge Strategies shows Albertans are much more decisive when you ask them about the values they attribute to development of THEIR oil sands.
None of this polling predicts behaviour unfortunately. Our research on the values that Albertans want to drive and guide oil sands are unequivocal that reclamation, habitat, ecological monitoring GHG and water usage trump the economic issues. There is still a large Alberta swing vote in the middle that could go against for for the oil sands development and there is an erosion of pride in the oil sands by the most educated, influential and progressive parts of the population.
If you want a progressive political culture in the Next Alberta register now for RebootAlberta 3.0 at www.rebootalberta.org