Montreal, April 26, 2022 – The Russian invasion of Ukraine has upset the international political chessboard, with the ramifications of this war reaching as far as Canada. Indeed, according to an Ipsos poll commissioned by the Montreal Economic Institute, a strong majority of Canadians (72%) want us to export our vast energy resources to European countries, like Germany, that depend in large part on Russia for their supply, while only 17% are opposed to this. In Quebec, support remains very high, at 65%. Moreover, 68% of Canadians want us to build the necessary energy infrastructure, including pipelines, in order to export our resources to Europe. In Quebec, a majority (54%) is also in favour.
“The results of this poll are unambiguous: Canadians, including Quebecers, want to help reduce Europe’s dependence on energy from the country of Vladimir Putin. The events of recent months demonstrate how incapable Germany and its neighbours are of depriving themselves of Russian energy resources, a fact that seriously undermines Western efforts to isolate Russia,” explains Miguel Ouellette, Economist and Director of Operations at the MEI.
Developing Quebec’s oil and gas resources: The majority of Quebecers want to revive the GNL Québec project
While the provincial government has just adopted a bill aiming to put an end to all hydrocarbon development projects in Quebec, 59% of the population of the province is in favour of developing Quebec’s oil and gas potential in order to export the resources to Europe. Moreover, 53% of Quebecers want to revive the GNL Québec project in order to export liquefied natural gas to Europe, while only 29% are opposed.
“Over the years, we have seen that the level of support for the development of our resources is quite high, but it’s even higher today. Clearly, global events are calling upon us and morally requiring us to remove our blinders. While the government likely wanted to propel us into the future with its bill banning the development of hydrocarbons, it now seems completely anachronistic. It’s hard to imagine a worse moment for such a decision,” says Gabriel Giguère, Public Policy Analyst at the MEI.
Another important fact in the context of high gas prices: 77% of Canadians, and 73% of Quebecers, want better access to Canadian petroleum products, in the hope of reining in surging prices at the pump.
“The construction of new pipelines in Canada is a must in order to export our energy resources to Europe, but also to diversify our markets. Right now, 98% of the oil we export is sent to the United States. It’s high time to stop blocking new projects, otherwise we’ll just keep putting all of our eggs in the same basket forever,” concludes Mr. Ouellette.
The online poll was conducted by Ipsos on behalf of the MEI between April 5 and 12, 2022 with a representative sample of 2,500 Canadian residents aged 18 years and over. The results are accurate to within 2.2 percentage points (19 times out of 20) of what they would have been had all Canadians been polled. Link to the complete report.
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The Montreal Economic Institute is an independent public policy think tank. Through its publications, media appearances, and advisory services to policy-makers, the MEI stimulates public policy debate and reforms based on sound economics and entrepreneurship.
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Josée Morissette, Senior Advisor, Media Relations