British Columbians overwhelmingly recognize the strength and value of the natural resource economy, a new poll shows.
With future job opportunities in question around the province because of disputed resource projects, residents are also concerned that industry and government are not doing enough to improve perceptions of the sector. Ipsos Reid surveyed 843 British Columbians in early April on behalf of Resource Works.
“The results of this poll indicate strong public support for the natural resource industries in BC, but also point to a number of areas where the public believes these industries could do more to improve,” said Dr. Lyn Anglin, Chair of Resource Works’ Advisory Council.
“The results of this poll will help Resource Works prioritize our future research topics, such as the contributions the resource industries make to innovation, sustainability, and reducing social inequality in British Columbia.”
Ipsos found that only half of British Columbians believe that BC is a world leader in innovation in natural resource development. The concept that BC is a world leader in sustainable natural resource development was challenged by one-third of respondents.
“Clearly we must work on British Columbians’ perceptions of our natural resource industry,” said Dan Miller, former Premier of British Columbia and a member of Resource Works’ Advisory Council.
“While we can now agree on the importance of natural resources to our province, we should now shift our efforts to innovation and truly becoming a world leader in natural resources.”
Although some viewpoints have suggested that natural resources will have no place in a new “green economy”, British Columbians are dismissive of this view. The overwhelming majority of respondents believe “it’s possible to create green jobs and grown the green economy within BC’s natural resource sector.”
“I think it’s very British Columbian of us to understand the importance of our natural resources to the livelihood of our province, as well as our commitment and respect for innovation and sustainability,” said Stewart Muir, Resource Works Society executive director. “When more than 70% of British Columbians say that resources do not have to conflict with the green economy, I think that’s very optimistic.”
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