Smithers/Vancouver – Four out of five British Columbians (80%) would support the B.C. government creating more protected areas with Indigenous peoples to meet the target of protecting 30% of the land and water by 2030, “even if that means reducing areas available for mining and forestry.”
And before the government leases land for logging or mining, the same proportion of British Columbians (81%) say “it should modernize land-use plans with communities and First Nations to ensure the protection of water quality and fish habitat.”
Those findings are the result of Insights West’s recent survey done on behalf of the BC Mining Law Reform network and Northern Confluence in mid-October, with 1,385 adult respondents across the province.
While three out of four (73%) agree that minerals and metals from B.C. can help with our transition to a clean economy, they want to “ensure it happens responsibly.”
A large majority (84%) agree that mining companies “should be required to get permission from private landowners, municipalities, and First Nations before doing any business on their lands.” And a full 90% agree that they should also “be required to pay to clean up the environmental damage they cause”, with strongest support from outside of the Lower Mainland.
On whether some pollution is “inevitable” and that benefits from mining to B.C. as a whole “outweigh any accidental impacts to the local environment or communities,” British Columbians have differing views: 40% agree with this statement, while 48% disagree.
Mining issues can play a role in voting. About half (48%) of Metro Vancouver region residents, and 59% on Vancouver Island say they would be more likely to vote for a candidate that would support changing mining laws and regulations to include “stronger environmental protection and local permission requirements.”
About the Survey
Results are based on an online study conducted by Insights West from October 13-15, 2020 among a sample of 1,385 British Columbian adults 18 years of age and older. The data has been weighted according to 2016 Canadian Census figures for age, gender and region. The margin of error (which measures sample variability) is +/2.6%, 19 times out of 20. Any discrepancies between totals are due to rounding.