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November 4, 2007

Poll: Majority of Canadians support Kyoto


67 per cent of Canadians surveyed support ratification of the Kyoto accord on fighting global warming, according to a new poll.

Only 19 per cent of those asked oppose the treaty, which would compel more than 150 countries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Ekos Research Associates conducted the poll for CBC, Radio Canada and various newspapers.

The polling firm talked to 1,217 randomly chosen Canadians by phone from May 27-29.

Alberta's Premier Ralph Klein is spearheading a plan that would employ new technologies to cut air pollution, but would set back the emission targets and Kyoto timetable.

Klein managed to get the support of western premiers last week to have Alberta's Kyoto alternative put forward at public consultations.

Klein has warned that a ratified Kyoto accord will hurt both Alberta's economy and that of the entire country.

Still, among Albertans surveyed, 54 per cent said they support ratification.

When Ekos asked Canadians what impact Kyoto would have on the Canadian economy, it found 61 per cent agreed with Ottawa's prediction of a modest impact.

Twenty-one per cent agreed with Alberta's prediction of a disastrous impact.

When asked about holding more consultations about lowering greenhouse gases, 56 per cent of respondents agreed that Canada should quit wasting time debating the economic consequences of Kyoto. Nineteen per cent disagreed.

When asked if they would agree to a tax increase to reduce greenhouse gases, support slipped to 46 per cent, and opposition climbed to 40 per cent.

Pollster Frank Graves says most Canadians know little or nothing about Kyoto, but support it anyway.

"There may be a growing sense of impatience and frustration coming out in the public, that 'look, we don't want to wake up and find P.E.I. under water someday.'"

The results of the poll are considered valid plus or minus 2.8 per cent, 19 times out of 20.

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