Recent Poll Shows CBM opponents outnumber supporters 2:1

SMITHERS – Northwest British Columbians are concerned about Shell’s plans to drill 14 new gas wells at the headwaters of our three most important salmon rivers (the Skeena, the Stikine and the Nass) according to a poll commissioned by NDP MP Nathan Cullen (Skeena-Bulkley Valley).

Listen to Nathan Cullen’s interviews with CBC Radio and CFTK TV.

“I have been hearing increasing concern over the past several years from people who live in the Skeena watershed about Shell’s proposed developments,” said Cullen. “They’re telling me that this project is not worth the risk to our salmon, water and wildlife.”

Wishing to verify what people were telling him, Cullen asked McAllister Opinion Research to conduct a scientifically-designed survey of a random sample of 400 residents in the Skeena River watershed including Smithers, Terrace and Prince Rupert. The findings show:

  • More than twice as many people oppose coalbed methane development than support it;
  • One in two (50%) of residents oppose the Shell project, while just one in five (22%) are in support. Another 28 percent are unsure.
  • Seven out of ten (72%) respondents say that coalbed methane should not be developed in our wild salmon watersheds; and
  • One third (33%) of all residents in the Skeena watershed have not even heard about Shell’s proposed development.

“We need to be convinced this project is safe,” said Cullen. “The province must stop Shell’s exploration until residents have strong, scientifically sound information showing wild salmon and our northern lifestyle won’t be harmed down the road.”

“The people of the Northwest, not some giant, foreign oil company, will decide how to do develop our natural resources,” added Cullen. Eight of the 14 coalbed methane wells Shell hopes to drill this season are located in the Skeena watershed.

The survey was conducted using random digit dialing, between April 17th and 21st and is considered to be accurate to within +/- 4.9%, 19 times out of 20. McAllister Opinion Research is an accredited member of ESOMAR, the international professional body for public opinion research.

For more information, please contact:
Shelley Browne, Office of Nathan Cullen, 250-877-4142 or