Canadians support the idea of a cross-Canada oil pipeline: poll

It appears that Canadians aren't that into an oil pipeline going to the west and they're tepid about one going south.

But, according to a report by Abacus Data, we're enthusiastic about the development of a cross-Canada pipeline

[ Related: U.S. State Department releases its environmental assessment of Keystone XL ]

Last month, Abacus Data asked 1,832 people this question:

TransCanada Corp. considering developing an oil pipeline that would bring western oil to eastern Canadian refineries, and perhaps allow for crude exports from the deep-water port of Saint John. Currently all oil refined in Eastern Canada is imported from other countries. The pipeline -- much of it to be converted from an existing gas pipeline -- could carry between 500,000 and one million barrels a day of oil.

Based on this information, do you support or oppose the proposal to build a cross-Canada pipeline?

The survey results, released Monday, suggest that 78 per cent of those surveyed, and who had an opinion about the pipeline, either strongly or somewhat support the idea.

By comparison to previous Abacus surveys, 53 per cent support the Keystone XL pipeline which would transport Alberta oil to the Gulf of Mexico, while 49 per cent support the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline through British Columbia.

Former Liberal MP Dan McTeague, who now operates, told Yahoo! Canada News that sending Alberta oil eastward is a "no-brainer."

He says that Canadians support a west-east pipeline over Northern Gateway because much of the infrastructure is already in place and because there are several refineries in Eastern Canada that can process the crude.

He's also not surprised that the idea is gaining momentum both with the public and with politicians.

Over the past year, politicians across party lines — from Alberta Wildrose leader Danielle Smith to federal NDP leader Thomas Mulcair — have touted the pan-Canadian concept.

And, last month, Alberta Premier Alison Redford met with New Brunswick David Alward to discuss the prospect of building a pipeline all the way to a deep-water port in Saint John which would give Alberta oil producers access to an Atlantic marine route.

[ Related: Alberta looks to woo New Brunswick to create west-east oil pipeline ]

Ultimately, McTeague says an eastbound pipeline is good for consumers.

"Alberta inputs mean cheaper inputs, which ultimately mean cheaper prices at the pump," he said.

(Photo courtesy of the Canadian Press)

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