As you may have read a month or so ago, the wealthy owner of a B.C.-based chain of community newspapers — the sort of papers I assume Enbridge has been devoting a goodly portion of its propaganda budget to — has emerged as an outspoken supporter of the pipeline. But not just the pipeline! David Black thinks that if we build a $13 billion refinery in Kitimat, the people of B.C. will support the Northern Gateway pipeline. You see, our environmental concerns will be easily laid aside if we’re promised a cut of the profits (in the form of jobs). Black also claims that refined fuel products would be less devastating than Albertan bitumen in the event of an ocean spill, which I suppose is true.
Speaking as someone who was born in British Columbia, I can’t say enough about the way Black has gone about building support for this project. For instance, so far, he’s created a website for the new refinery which, I’m sure you’ll agree, has just about all the bells and whistles you’d want to put on a website if you were trying to attract billionaire investors to your highly speculative project. I’ve certainly seen WordPress-based websites with less professionalism, I can tell you that. (Sixth Estate, for instance, is also powered by the free WordPress platform, but his is much, MUCH fancier than mine.)
Anyhow, the announcement and the company were announced a month ago, but this week Black upped the ante yet again by releasing an opinion poll purporting to show massive support for the new venture. And once again, I have to hand it to him for pulling out all the stops. I’ve rarely seen an opinion poll, at least one that gets widespread coverage in the Canadian media, done according to a methodology as rigorous, impressive, and all-encompassing as this one was:
Mr. Black said the poll was conducted by his own company, Black Press Group Ltd.
The newspaper publisher asked each of its 60 B.C. newspapers to survey 20 random households and placed another 200 calls in locations where it doesn’t own a newspaper. The poll was conducted between Sept. 10 and Sept. 20.
Gee. I can’t imagine what could possibly be wrong with such a poll.
Interestingly, the Black Press website (by my count) lists no less than 96 publications across British Columbia. I’m not exactly sure how to explain this discrepancy, but no doubt Black has the job well in hand.
I’m equally sure that British Columbians will not be troubled by the fact that the owner of a considerable proportion of the province’s non-Postmedia print media is so heavily involved in a controversial energy project.Tweet