Poll says Two-thirds of Canadians approve of Ottawa’s climate regulations

By Shawn McCarthy, The Globe and Mail.

OTTAWA - Nearly two-thirds of Canadians want the Liberal government to proceed with climate regulations, including carbon pricing, regardless of a new direction on the environment from U.S. President Donald Trump, a new Nanos Research poll says.

Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna met this week with the European climate commissioner Miguel Arias Canete, and the two ministers said they remain committed to meeting the targets of the Paris climate agreement, even as Mr. Trump lays plans to reverse greenhouse-gas-reduction regulations passed by his predecessor Barack Obama.

Some Canadian business leaders and conservative politicians have urged the governments to slow or stop the implementation of the federal-provincial climate plan reached in December, arguing additional costs from environmental regulations will erode Canada’s ability to compete with U.S. companies that benefit from the Republican administration’s approach.

In a poll of 1,000 Canadians conducted for The Globe and Mail this week, Nanos Research found 48 per cent “support” and 17 per cent “somewhat support” the government of Canada’s plan to institute new climate regulations even if it is out of step with Mr. Trump’s approach. One-third of respondents said they are opposed (22 per cent) or somewhat opposed (11 per cent).

The margin of error for the survey is 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

More broadly, some 77 per cent of those responding to the survey said it would be unacceptable or somewhat unacceptable for the Canadian government to align its policies with the Trump administration in cases where the two countries diverge, Nanos said.