NWT Residents See Environmental Protection as Key to Jobs and Prosperity: Poll

Great Slave Lake © DUC

Yellowknife, NWT- A majority of NWT residents want rigorous protections for wildlife and land in the Northwest Territories, according to a Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) poll released today.

A telephone survey conducted by Ekos Research for DUC indicates NWT residents have strong concerns about the health of water and wetlands in the territory. Survey results show 88% are concerned about water pollution, while another two thirds are “very concerned” about current water levels.

The poll also shows:

  • Cost of living is the top concern of NWT residents (24%), followed by concerns on environment, wildlife and climate (20%). These far outrank economic development and jobs, by 14% and 12%, respectively.
  • Concerns about water top the list of residents’ environmental concerns (24%), followed by declining herds/wildlife populations (13%) and climate change (12%).
  • Nine out of 10 support plans by the NWT government to complete a network of areas to be permanently off-limits to mining, logging and oil and gas activities while allowing for hunting, fishing and tourism.
  • 63% want to at least half of NWT lands kept permanently off-limits to industrial development.
  • 72% want to see environmental protection laws strengthened, not streamlined.
  • More than three quarters support legal protection for Great Bear Lake and the East Arm of Great Slave Lake.
  • Two thirds feel land use planning and settling Aboriginal land claims should be top priority for the next territorial government. By contrast, only 27% said promoting mining should be a priority.

The poll interviewed a representative sample of 456 Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal residents by landline and cellphone November 49,
2015. A random sample of 456 is considered accurate to within ±4.59% 19 times out of 20.

Download the public opinion research brief for further information.