Lower Churchill Loan Guarantee Gets ‘Thumbs Up’ from Canadians

A new national survey by Ottawa-based Abacus Data finds that a majority of Canadians support the plan for the federal government to provide a loan guarantee of $4 billion to help support the Lower Churchill River hydro-electric project.

Nationally, 63% of Canadians supported the plan to guarantee the loan, while 20% were opposed.  Support was particularly strong in Ontario, Alberta and Atlantic Canada.  Opposition to a federal government loan guarantee was highest in Quebec, where 46% said they opposed the plan compared with 21% who supported it.

“There is a strong national consensus that a loan guarantee for the Lower Churchill River project is a good idea”, said David Coletto, CEO of Abacus Data.  “Supporters of the loan guarantee tell us that the project means economic benefits for the entire country, for the Atlantic region, and the encouragement of clean energy production.”

Resistance to the plan in Quebec was based mainly on feelings that the loan guarantee was unfair to Quebec among nationalists and supporters of the Bloc Quebecois.

“The only hurdle for any federal government is opposition in Quebec which is mainly concentrated among BQ supporters,” said Coletto.  “In our past research we have found strong national support for hydro-power generation and the results from this poll confirm those findings.”

Between April 11 and 15, 2011, Abacus Data Inc. conducted an online survey among 1,005 randomly selected Canadian adults from an online panel of over 75,000 Canadians. The margin of error—which measures sampling variability—is comparable to +/- 3.2%, 19 times out of 20.

Results of the survey were statistically weighted by gender, age, region, immigrant status, and education using census data from Statistics Canada and by past vote using Elections Canada results from the 2008 General Election. Totals may not add up to 100 due to rounding.

To review a detailed report and the survey’s methodology, download the report here.

For more information about the survey findings, please contact Dr. David Coletto, CEO Abacus Data Inc. at (613) 884-4730 or david@abacusdata.ca