The Leger Marketing telephone survey of 1,500 people was conducted between Aug. 24 and Aug. 31, the bulk being done before the devastating effects of hurricane Katrina were felt.
Gas prices have jumped around 25 cents a litre since the storm that battered the U.S. Gulf Coast.
On Monday, for example, prices in Montreal and Halifax averaged $1.38 a litre but the regulated price in St. John's, Nfld., was $1.48. In Toronto, prices stood at about $1.35 but were also seen at around $1.22.
Western drivers tanked up for between $1.08 to $1.13 in Edmonton and between $1.07 to $1.14 in Calgary.
In the Leger poll, which was provided to The Canadian Press, 49 per cent of respondents wanted petroleum resources nationalized while 43 per cent said they would like to see the same fate for gas companies.
Quebeckers were the strongest supporters of resource nationalization at 67 per cent, followed by residents of the Atlantic provinces at 53 per cent, Ontarians at 45 per cent and British Columbia at 42 per cent.
Forty per cent of respondents on the Prairies and 36 per cent of Albertans were in favour. Among those opposed, Albertans led the way at 49 per cent followed by British Columbians at 39 per cent.
Quebec led in support for nationalization of oil companies, with 61 per cent in favour, followed by the Atlantic provinces (46 per cent). Alberta was most opposed at 59 per cent, followed by the Prairies (49 per cent), B.C. 46 per cent and Ontario, 41 per cent.
Most of the respondents — 79 per cent — suggested they would like to see taxes on gasoline cut, although federal and provincial governments have made it clear that is unlikely.
Seventy-six per cent of respondents indicated they would like the government to intervene after recent gas hikes preceding Katrina. Fifty-four per cent suggested they would like the government to fix the pump price.
Twenty-six per cent of respondents blamed the gas companies for pre-Katrina price spikes followed by 18 per cent pointing the finger at oil-producing countries.
However, 63 per cent of respondents said pre-Katrina gas price hikes had not affected their fuel consumption. Twenty-five per cent said they were using less gas.
Results of the poll are considered accurate within plus or minus 2.6 percentage points 19 times out of 20.
Katrina cut a swath of destruction along the Gulf Coast more than a week ago, shutting down nine Gulf Coast refineries. It disrupted gasoline pipelines to the Midwest and East and stopped 90 per cent of the oil production in the Gulf of Mexico.
The Gulf is responsible for around 30 per cent of U.S. crude production and one quarter of its gas. A large portion of U.S. oil imports also arrive at Gulf Coast ports. Prices at the pump soared and continued to climb