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Survey Suggests Canadians Displeased With Government’s Balancing of Economy and Environment

A public opinion survey commissioned by Environment Canada suggests that many Canadians are unhappy with the way the Harper government is balancing environmental issues and economic priorities.

Two in five, or 40 per cent, of Canadians who took the telephone survey "disagreed or strongly disagreed that the government is striking the right balance between addressing environmental and economic concerns," reports Postmedia News.

26 per cent agreed or strongly agreed with the statement.

The survey was conducted by Harris-Decima from May 23 to June 6, 2013, and included 3,001 Canadians from across the country. It was carried out to help Environment Canada gauge the mood of Canadians, and develop "communications products and policy" accordingly.

The survey also found that residents of British Columbia and the territories were most likely to strongly disagree that Canada was striking the right balance between environment and economy — 17 per cent as opposed to 12 per cent nationally.

Residents of Quebec were most likely to to strongly agree with the statement — nine per cent as opposed to six per cent nationally.

Most Canadians who took the survey did, however, prioritize economy over environment. When asked what the government's top priority should be, the economy was the top answer, given by 15 per cent of respondents.

11 per cent answered healthcare, and environmental issues came in third with 10 per cent of the respondents. Following environmental issues was job creation, and government accountability and leadership.

Respondents who wanted the government to focus on the environment indicated that water quality, oilsands, greenhouse gases and pollution were the most pressing environmental concerns.

Should the survey be repeated, results would be expected to fall within 1.8 percent of the current results 95 out of 100 times.

Image Credit: Prime Minister's Office / Flickr

Indrapramit Das is a freelance writer, critic and artist. His work has appeared in Slant Magazine, Vancouver Weekly, Strange Horizons…

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