Canadians Divided When It Comes To Troop Involvement In Afghanistan

Half (52%) Feel Troops Are Performing Vital Mission And Should Stay, Other Half (48%) Say "Bring Our Troops Home"

Toronto, ON - With a seemingly rejuvenated Taliban insurgency, a stronger combat commitment from the military, and recent casualty reports, the Canadian public is divided when it comes to their country's involvement in Afghanistan: Half (52%) feel Canadian troops are performing a vital mission and should stay the course, while the other half (48%) believe we should bring our troops home as soon as possible. This according to a new national Ipsos Reid poll conducted on behalf of CanWest News Service/Global News.

The survey also indicates that just over half of Canadians (54%) now support the "use of Canada's troops for security and combat efforts against the Taliban and Al Qaeda in Afghanistan" (21% strongly support). This represents a downward shift in public support from January of 2002 when 66% of Canadians said they supported Canadian troops taking on a combat mission in Afghanistan.

These are the findings of an Ipsos Reid poll conducted for CanWest News Service/Global News and fielded from March 2nd to March 3rd, 2006. For this survey, a representative randomly selected sample of 800 adult Canadians was interviewed via an on-line survey vehicle. With a sample of this size, the aggregate results are considered accurate to within 1773.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what they would have been had the entire adult Canadian population been polled. The margin of error will be larger within each sub-grouping of the survey population. These data were weighted to ensure the sample's regional and age/sex composition reflects that of the actual Canadian population according to Census data.

Half (52%) Say "Troops Should Stay", Other Half (48%) "Bring Our Troops Home"...

Fifty-two percent of Canadians feel that "Canadian troops are performing a vital mission in Afghanistan and they should stay as long as it takes for them to succeed", while 48% believe our "troops should not be deployed in Afghanistan and they should be brought home as soon as possible".

  • Residents of Ontario (63%), Alberta (58%) and British Columbia (55%) are the most likely to believe the troops should stay for as long as it takes to succeed.
  • Residents of Quebec (70%) are the most likely to believe we should bring our troops home now.

Just Over Half (54%) Of Canadians Support The Use Of Canada's Troops In Afghanistan, 46% Oppose...

Just over half of Canadians (54%) support the "use of Canada's troops for security and combat efforts against the Taliban and Al Qaeda in Afghanistan" (21% strongly support). Forty-six percent oppose our troops operations in Afghanistan (22% strongly oppose).

  • Support is highest in Ontario (65%), British Columbia (60%), Alberta (58%), and Saskatchewan/Manitoba (54%).
  • Opposition is highest in Quebec (67%).

For more information on this news release, please contact:
Dr. Darrell Bricker
President and COO
Ipsos Reid Public Affairs
(416) 324-2900
[email protected]

Ipsos Reid
Ipsos Reid is Canada's market intelligence leader and the country's leading provider of public opinion research. With operations in eight cities, Ipsos-Reid employs more than 300 researcher professionals and support staff in Canada. The company has the biggest network of telephone call centres in Canada, as well as the largest pre-recruited household and on-line panels. Ipsos Reid's Canadian marketing research and public affairs practices are staffed with seasoned research consultants with extensive industry-specific backgrounds, offering the premier suite of research vehicles in Canada - including the Ipsos Trend Report, the leading source of public opinion in the country - all of which provide clients with actionable and relevant information. Ipsos Reid is an Ipsos company, a leading global survey-based market research group.

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