Saskatoon

Poll: 47% approve of Sask. government's response to Husky oil spill

More than a month since a Husky Energy oil pipeline spilled between 200 and 250 cubic metres of oil into the North Saskatchewan River, a new poll shows a slim majority of the province approves of the provincial government’s response so far.

31% of provincial residents disapprove, 22% not sure either way

An oil-covered Canada goose was cleaned up at Maidstone, Sask., near the site of the Husky Energy oil pipeline leak. (Submitted by Wendy Wandler )

More than a month since a Husky Energy oil pipeline spilled between 200 and 250 cubic metres of oil into the North Saskatchewan River, a new poll shows a slim majority of the province approves of the provincial government's response so far.

Following the spill, the government was involved in emergency response, updating the media, co-ordinating agencies and working to ensure that drinking water was made available to affected communities.

However, the Opposition New Democrats have slammed Premier Brad Wall for taking several days to talk about the spill in detail. He was also criticized for avoiding questions about pipeline safety after the spill, because he said the focus should be on the response. Wall rejected the criticism.

The Saskatchewan New Democrats slammed Premier Brad Wall for allegedly being slow to talk about the Husky oil spill, although Wall denied that was the case. (Adam Hunter/CBC)

The Mainstreet Research poll released Tuesday shows 47 per cent of the province approves of the Saskatchewan Party's response in the wake of the July 21 oil spill into the North Saskatchewan River, while 31 per cent disapprove. Another 22 per cent were not sure either way.

Approval of the province's response was lowest in Regina with only a 40 per cent approval rating, 43 per cent of respondents in Regina disapproved.
The following graphic shows a breakdown of approval and disapproval numbers from a Mainstreet poll asking the people of Saskatchewan how they feel about the government's response to the Husky Energy oil spill. (Mainstreet Research)

In Saskatoon, 46 per cent of people approved of the provincial response where 38 per cent disapproved and 16 per cent were not sure.

Disapproval seemed to be greater among the younger generations. 30 per cent of people aged 18 to 34 said they disapproved while 45 per cent approved. Disapproval numbers dropped steadily in the older demographics.

Among the province as a whole, 50 per cent of men approved of the province's response compared to 44 per cent of women approved.

The Mainstreet/Postmedia Poll has a margin of error of +/- 2.38%, 19 times out of 20. 1,690 people were surveyed between August 22-23 on a mixture of cell phones and landlines. Results were weighed by age and gender according to the latest census

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