Peter Ewart on Recent Enbridge-Ipsos Poll and Disinformation Tactics


Read this column form Peter Ewart on about the recent Ipsos poll for Enbridge claiming to show more British Columbians support the company’s controversial proposed pipeline from the Alberta Tar Sands to Kitimat than oppose it. Ewart sets this poll within the larger context of a disinformation campaign in which Postmedia has played a critical roll – including its much criticized recent handling of the Gitxsan story. (Jan 6, 2012)

One of the aims of disinformation campaigns is to shake the resolve of people. And we are seeing ample evidence of this in the campaign to sell the Enbridge pipeline which, if constructed, will stretch across the lands and waterways of Northern BC and result in major oil tanker traffic in the ocean waters off BC’s Pacific coast.
Recently, an Ipsos-Reid poll, released exclusively to the Postmedia News chain, is alleging that, by a whopping 48 to 32 percentage, most people across the province are now in favour of the controversial pipeline. This poll, of course, was commissioned and paid for by the Enbridge Corporation. The results are almost the exact opposite of another poll conducted by the Mustel polling group in 2010 and commissioned by pipeline opponent group “Forest Ethics”. That poll showed a 51 to 34 percent margin against the pipeline. The gap between the two polls is stunning.
Nonetheless, despite the huge disparity in poll results, the Postmedia News chain was quick to punch out headlines such as: “New poll points to pipeline support”, as well as articles claiming that the poll could be a “game changer” for project opponents. For its part, Enbridge has issued a statement that the “new poll” will set a “’proper context’ for the launch of National Energy Board hearings into Northern Gateway that begin this month in northern B.C.”