Each day this week, Global News will explore some of the issues that matter to Calgary voters as we approach the 2019 federal election in a new segment called Word on the Street.
On the campaign trail, all of the other parties have criticized the move.
The NDP and the Green Party of Canada, citing environmental reasons, have criticized both Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau for buying the pipeline and Scheer for his pro-pipeline platform.
Voters we spoke with said the issues of climate change and the energy industry are certainly divisive.
Hillary Johnstone, who was visiting Alberta from Toronto, said she had only been in Calgary for 12 hours and already regretted “having an anti-pipeline thought,” pointing to the support she’s seen for the oil and gas industry in Alberta as what changed her mind.
Mel Reyes said there’s a reason downtown Calgary is full of empty office towers once used by oil and gas businesses.
Susan Waddell, meanwhile, supports the energy industry and feels the country needs to get on the same page when it comes to our resources.
“We have all of these resources and we need to get them to market,” Waddell said. “It doesn’t do any good to buy a pipeline and let it sit there. We have to get off our butts and co-operate.”
Mount Royal University political scientist Duane Bratt argues that climate change is the biggest predictor of party support, saying all you have to do to know how someone will vote in the Oct. 21 election is ask how they feel about climate change
“There is great polarization amongst the parties on the issue of climate change,” Bratt said.
“If you are an Albertan who supports the Conservative Party, who is male and living in rural Alberta, you are most likely to deny climate change. If you are female, living in Montreal, that supports the Green Party, the opposite applies.”
When it comes to energy, Bratt says the two highest-polling parties, the Liberals and Conservatives, both agree on wanting to see the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion built — which should work in the project’s favour.
“I recognize the concerns people have around Trans Mountain but I think a minority Liberal government could be propped up by the Conservatives, and a minority Conservative government could be propped up by the Liberals. In other words, the parties that represent about 85 per cent of the seats are going to be able to work together.”
According to Bratt, support of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion is one of the few areas related to Canada’s energy industry on which the Liberals and Conservatives seem to see eye to eye.
“Things like Bill C-69 and Bill-C48, unless you have a Scheer majority government, I think are going to stay,” he said. “Likewise, the federal carbon tax, unless it’s a Scheer majority, I think we are also going to see it in Alberta.”
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