Canadians Support Increased Sanctions, Sending Weapons and Stationing Troops in NATO Countries to Deter Russia

Majority (55%) Disagrees that Canada Cannot Afford to Help Ukraine, but Fewer than Half (47%) are Willing to Pay More for Gas Because of Sanctions Against Russia

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  • Darrell Bricker Global CEO, Public Affairs
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Toronto, ON, March 11, 2022 – As Russia’s invasion of Ukraine enters its third week, Canadians support increasing sanctions against Russia and support for Ukraine, but stop short of supporting direct military involvement of Canadian troops against Russia. As gas prices across the country catapult to roughly $2 per litre, Canadians are split on whether they’re personally willing to pay the costs associated with the tough sanctions against Russia.

While half of Canadians (48%) believe that Canada’s level of support to Ukraine thus far has been about right, on balance the scales tip towards doing more to help: 39% believe Canada has not done enough to support Ukraine and needs to do more. Conversely, just 13% believe that Canada has done too much to support Ukraine and should scale back it support.

Assessing various measures that Canada’s leaders might be considering, a consensus has formed around some, but other ideas are more contentious:

  • Eight in ten (81%) support (39% strongly/42% somewhat) the belief that Canada should put additional economic sanctions in place against Russia, while just two in ten oppose (7% strongly/12% somewhat).
  • Three in four (72%) support (31% strongly/41% somewhat) providing weapons and ammunition to the Ukrainian military, while one in four (28%) oppose (11% strongly/28% somewhat).
  • Two in three (69%) support (24% strongly/44% somewhat) sending Canadian Forces troops to neighbouring countries to deter Russia, while one in three (31%) oppose (12% strongly/20% somewhat) with this tactic.
  • Two in three (67%) also support (19% strongly/48% somewhat) the notion that Canada should provide funding to the Ukrainian military, while one in three (33%) oppose (11% strongly/22% somewhat).
  • Four in ten (39%) support (9% strongly/30% somewhat) Canada getting involved militarily in this conflict, while a majority (61%) opposes (20% strongly/42% somewhat) a direct military confrontation with Russia.
  • One in three (33%) support (6% strongly/27% somewhat) Canada continuing its diplomatic ties with Russia, leaving two in three to oppose (28% strongly/39% somewhat), meaning that they believe that Canada should cut diplomatic ties.

Canadians not only want to offer support to Ukraine in its armed conflict, but also to the people of Ukraine, millions of whom have fled their country as refugees over the last two weeks. Specifically, most (84%) support (32% strongly/52% somewhat) the idea that Canada should send aid to neighbouring countries in the region that are welcoming refugees from Ukraine, while relatively few (16%) disagree (6% strongly/10% somewhat). Moreover, four in five (81%) Canadians support (35% strongly/46% somewhat) Canada doing whatever it can to take in Ukrainian refugees itself, while just one in five (19%) oppose (6% strongly/12% somewhat) Canada opening its borders to Ukrainian refugees in Europe.

Canadians Paying Attention, Concerned about Conflict’s Impact on Canada

The data reveal that three quarters are paying attention to the conflict (29% very closely/45% fairly closely), while just one quarter aren’t following it (5% not at all/21% not very closely). Interestingly, Albertans (81%) are most likely to be following the news about Ukraine, while Quebecers (66%) are the least likely.

Given the severity of the situation, it’s perhaps not surprising that most Canadians are concerned about its impact on the Canadian economy, Canadian security, and indeed their own family:

  • More than eight in ten (85%) are concerned (41% strongly/44% somewhat) about the impact of the Russian invasion of Ukraine on the Canadian economy.
  • Three quarters (73%) are concerned (28% strongly/45% somewhat) about its impact on Canada’s national security and safety.
  • Two in three (64%) are concerned (23% strongly/41% somewhat) about the impact of the conflict on themselves and their own family. Atlantic Canadians (85%) are most likely to express concern, followed by those living in Saskatchewan and Manitoba (69%), Ontario (66%), Alberta (63%), Quebec (60%) and British Columbia (54%). Concern is also higher among women (67%) than men (61%), and among those aged 35-54 (69%) and 18-34 (66%) than those aged 55+ (58%).

With high inflation already a worry among many Canadians, it’s perhaps not surprising that Canadians are split on whether they are personally willing to bear the costs of some of the economic sanctions that are in place against Russia. Slightly less than half (47%) agree (13% strongly/34% somewhat) that they’re prepared to pay more for gas because of Canada’s sanctions against Russia, while a slim majority (53%) disagree (27% strongly/25% somewhat) that they are prepared to pay more. Those under the age of 55 are most likely to say they’re not fine paying more (60%), while those over the age of 55 are less likely (39%) to be opposed to paying more.

Moreover, nearly half (45%) of Canadians agree (14% strongly/32% somewhat) that given the current economic crisis, Canada cannot afford to give financial support to Ukraine – the proportion of which rises to 55% among those aged 18-34, and 52% among those aged 35-54. Only 32% of Canadians aged 55+ see this as a reason not to support Ukraine.

Despite not being happy about the costs inflicted on average Canadians as a result of higher gas prices, for example, a majority of Canadians see the need for sanctions: six in ten (59%) agree (11% strongly/47% somewhat) that the economic sanctions we have placed on Russia are the most effective way for Canada to stop this invasion, and seven in ten (73%) agree that if Canada does nothing to help Ukraine it will encourage Russia to take further military action elsewhere. So while Canadians aren’t happy with the hit to their pocketbook, they appear to accept that it is a necessary consequence of providing support to Ukraine.  

There is a relatively small contingent of Canadians, however, which believes that Canada has no business getting involved in this conflict whatsoever. One quarter (25%) agrees (9% strongly/16% somewhat) that Canada should stay out of Ukraine’s problems because Ukraine is not a NATO country and we have no treaty obligation to them. Three quarters (75%) disagree (31% strongly/44% somewhat) with this premise. Similarly, one in five (20%) agree (7% strongly/13% somewhat) that the problems of Ukraine are none of our business, while most (80%) disagree (44% strongly/36% somewhat) with this argument.

Canadians Approve of Response of Political Leaders and Alliances to Ukraine Crisis

Canadians have given strong assessments of the performance of various political leaders in response to the crisis in Ukraine, with top marks going to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy himself.

Person/Entity

% Approve (strongly/somewhat)

% disapprove (strongly/somewhat)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy

85% (53%/32%)

15% (7%/8%)

European Union

70% (16%/54%)

30% (8%/22%)

Canadian PM Justin Trudeau

66% (17%/49%)

34% (16%/18%)

US President Joe Biden

65% (14%/52%)

35% (16%/19%)

NATO

64% (15%/50%)

36% (11%/24%)

 

Focusing on Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, approval of his response is significantly higher among those aged 55+ (73%) and 35-54 (66%) than those aged 18-34 (56%). Approval is also higher in Quebec (72%) British Columbia (71%) and Atlantic Canada (69%) than it is in Ontario (64%), Alberta (61%) and Saskatchewan and Manitoba (54%)

 

About the Study

These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between March 8 and 9, 2022, on behalf of Global News. For this survey, a sample of 1,001 Canadians aged 18+ was interviewed. Quotas and weighting were employed to ensure that the sample’s composition reflects that of the Canadian population according to census parameters. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll is accurate to within ± 3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, had all Canadians aged 18+ been polled. The credibility interval will be wider among subsets of the population. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error.


For more information on this news release, please contact:

 

Darrell Bricker
CEO, Ipsos Global Public Affairs
+1 416 324 2001
[email protected]

 

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The author(s)

  • Darrell Bricker Global CEO, Public Affairs

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