More than half of Canadians polled by Angus Reid said alternative energy should be the federal government’s top priority.
Fifty-four per cent of those polled wanted to see a focus on wind, solar and hydrogen energy. Among those who did not vote for the Conservative Party (CPC) in 2019, seven out of 10 said renewable energy should be top priority.
“That said, recognition remains that Canada’s traditional energy sector needs attention,” says Angus Reid in a Tuesday news release on the poll results.
“One-in-three say the exploration and production of oil, coal, and natural gas, should receive equal priority alongside renewables. For those who supported the CPC in 2019, more than half (53 per cent) say so.”
Asked what they feel should be the top two goals of Canada’s energy policy, 49 per cent say that renewable energy production should be at the top of the list. A similar number — 47 per cent — say that environmental protection should take precedence.
“Despite holding a place as the third largest economic industry in the country, just 26 per cent of Canadians choose economic growth among their top two priorities.”
Other poll findings include Albertans are more likely to support investing in renewable energy and oil and gas equally than they are to say that oil and gas should be the primary goal on their own.
Asked what type of energy production they support investment in, 84 per cent said solar panels, 77 support wind turbines and 19 per cent support coal.
Energy independence is a top priority for 46 per cent of Canadians. For CPC supporters, the number rises to 71 per cent.
Canadians are split on investing in nuclear energy, with 51 per cent for and 49 per cent against. In Ontario, where most nuclear power plants are located, 64 per cent support the industry.
Angus Reid says with a federal election appearing likely this fall politicians will be “hoping to campaign at the intersection that marks a sweet spot for voter priority: where climate issues meet the economy.”
“As climate change remains a key issue for swing voters on the left of centre – and as voters regardless of political stripe look expectantly to a much-needed economic rebound post-pandemic – this year’s campaign may well be heavily contested on visions for the future of the energy industry.”