Calgarians are deeply conflicted over the upcoming G-8 summit in Kananaskis, a new poll suggests.
The survey finds 53 per cent of city residents "somewhat or strongly" support the summit, while 39 per cent of respondents are either somewhat or strongly opposed to it.
Fifty-four per cent say they believe the summit will be marred by violent protests and another 49 per cent of respondents fear it will somehow cause damage to Kananaskis Country.
That said, the poll found 71 per cent of respondents believe the summit will help boost the local economy.
"When it comes to events like this, there's a bit of trepidation as to what may happen -- especially since . . . there have been demonstrations and things like that (at other major world meetings)," said John Hartenberger, president of Calgary-based polling company HarGroup Research.
The G-8 summit is a meeting of the seven major industrialized nations and Russia.
It will take place June 26 and 27 in Kananaskis Village, about 115 kilometres west of Calgary.
The city, however, will host several official marches, rallies and social justice events and likely some impromptu protests as well.
The new poll was conducted independently by HarGroup Research during two weeks in February, and is considered accurate plus or minus 4.9 per cent, 19 times out of 20.
A similar study was conducted last November.
Hartenberger said support for the summit has remained comparatively steady.
In November, 54 per cent of respondents said they somewhat or strongly supported the summit, one per cent more than in the latest poll results.
Concerns over possible harm to Kananaskis rose between November and February from 46 per cent to 49.
Nine out of 10 respondents believe there will be demonstrations and 25 per cent of those polled believe it is somewhat or very likely terrorists will attack the summit meeting.
Mayor Dave Bronconnier said he's confident security officials will be able to protect both Calgary and Kananaskis, while allowing legitimate protesters avenues to voice their dissent.
"I believe there will be some form of demonstrations," he said. "Our security will be top-notch. It will be prepared and we will be ready and I think people should take that as official notice that civil disobedience will not be tolerated whatsoever.
"We're hoping for the best, but we're planning for the worst."
Bronconnier was pleased with the poll results on the question of economic benefits to Calgary, because he believes the summit is an opportunity to highlight the best the city has to offer.
"This is, I believe, an opportunity to showcase what this city is all about."
Mike O'Shaughnessy, a spokesman for the G-8 summit in Ottawa, said: "we have every confidence the G-8 will be a success. The summit is an opportunity to showcase a beautiful part of the country, but in general, we don't comment on polls."
HarGroup Research polled 400 Calgarians for the survey. Despite concerns over violence, 67 per cent of those polled said they don't fear for their personal safety because of the presence of the summit.
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