Statistics Canada reports that production from oil sands accounts for no more than 2 percent of the country’s gross domestic product. Yet the survey by Environmental Defense said 57 percent of respondents overrated that value, including 41 percent who say that contribution is between 6 and 24 times higher.
The group stressed, however, that its online survey, conducted by Environics, focused only on the economic benefits from existing oil sands ventures in the western province of Alberta, not benefits from the jobs and other ancillary economic benefits that are likely to grow from projects including pipelines that are now being planned.
The survey questioned 1,011 adults nationwide between June 18 and June 23. Neither Environmental Defense nor Environics reported a margin of error for the poll.
The executive director of Environmental Defense, Tim Gray, issued a statement regarding the survey’s findings, “the [oil sands] are not the primary driver of our economy,” he said. “Their contribution is relatively small and certainly not sufficient to justify the risks of planned massive expansion.”