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Majority of Canadians unhappy with Trudeau's handling of blockade crisis: poll

A new poll suggests Canadians weren’t happy with Justin Trudeau’s handling of the natural-gas pipeline dispute in British Columbia that led to nationwide rail and road blockades mounted in solidarity with Indigenous leaders who oppose the project.

According to the Leger Marketing survey, 61 per cent of respondents said they were dissatisfied with the way the prime minister has handled the  blockade file.

The numbers also suggest most Canadians blame the federal government for the crisis that erupted after Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs were arrested in B.C. while trying to block the Coastal GasLink pipeline project in early February — even though the project was approved by the province.

A majority of respondents — 57 per cent — said they believe Indigenous land claims are valid and there was overwhelming support for the federal government to actively resolve them and to consult with Indigenous groups on development projects.

But when it comes to whether Indigenous Peoples should have a veto on major developments on their lands, the Leger survey suggests opinion is more divided with 42 per cent of respondents saying Yes while 41 per cent said No.

The online survey of 1,540 Canadians was conducted Feb. 28 to March 2 for The Canadian Press and cannot be assigned a margin of error because Internet-based polls are not random samples.