Opinion Polls

Meeting Canada’s Energy Needs (2021)

The Montreal Economic Institute (MEI) commissioned Ipsos to poll Canadians on their opinions regarding various energy-related issues.

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Media release – Canadians don’t believe that COP26 will be a game changer

Montreal, November 17, 2021 – With COP26 just coming to a close in Glasgow, only 25% of Canadians (and 36% of Quebecers) are of the opinion that this conference helped find solutions to climate change. Health care and the economy clearly remain the top priorities for the Canadian population, and 65% of Canadians are not prepared to pay a single cent more to fight climate change.


  • 43% of Quebecers want their province to develop its own oil resources, whereas 31% prefer to continue importing all the oil consumed in the province. This is particularly relevant this year given the Quebec government’s intention to formally ban all oil and gas development in the province.
  • As for oil imports, the provider of choice remains Western Canada. No less than 71% of Quebecers want their oil to come from the Western provinces rather than from foreign countries.
  • 68% of Quebecers think that carbon capture technologies should occupy a bigger place in Quebec’s climate change strategy. This proportion is even higher (80%) among those who said climate change was among their top three priority issues.

“Clearly, Canadians do not believe that big conferences and good intentions will put an end to climate change. This makes perfect sense when you consider that the world’s largest emitter, China, is consuming more coal than ever,” says Miguel Ouellette, Director of Operations and Economist at the MEI.

“The Quebec population, for its part, is very divided on the question of developing the province’s oil resources, an activity that the government wants to ban permanently. Yet a non-negligible proportion of Quebecers prefer that we develop our resources rather than import all of the oil we consume,” adds Mr. Ouellette.

“It is interesting to see that 71% of Quebecers still see Western Canada as their favoured oil provider. This contrasts with what you hear from certain Quebec politicians and activists,” points out Krystle Wittevrongel, Public Policy Analyst at the MEI.

“If there is a new wrinkle, it’s the emergence of carbon capture as a concrete solution to slow climate change. What is most striking is that it is those who are most concerned about climate change who are the most enthusiastic about these technologies,” concludes Mr. Ouellette.

The Ipsos online poll commissioned by MEI was carried out from October 29 to November 2, 2021, among a representative sample of 1,150 Canadians aged 18 and over.

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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.


Interview requests: Daniel Dufort, Phone: 438-886-9919, Email: ddufort@iedm.org

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