Ipsos Reid: Poll shows more Canadians oppose Afghan mission

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Monday, November 6, 2006

Support for Canada's Afghan mission is declining over the course of the last month according to a new Ipsos Reid opinion poll conducted for CanWest News Service and Global Television.

When citizens were asked if they would support the mission until 2009, 58 per cent of Canadians said "no" and 39 per cent said they "strongly oppose" the mission. When asked if they supported the mission, 41 per cent of Canadians said "yes".

44 per cent of Canadians say they support the "use of Canadian troops for security and combat efforts against the Taliban and Al Qaeda in Afghanistan."

Opposition is highest in Quebec with 73 per cent of the population, followed by Atlantic Canada at 61 per cent, Alberta supports the mission, while Ontario is split right down the middle.

"There's no good news on Afghanistan, that's the thing," said Ipsos Reid senior vice president Darrell Bricker. "The only thing we hear out of Afghanistan is about what Canadian got injured or killed today. There's no sense of progress."

While in Canada for a visit to Ottawa and Montreal from September 21 to 23, Afghan President Hamid Karzai thanked Canada for its contribution. "They have sacrificed so that we in Afghanistan may have security and they have sacrificed to ensure the continued safety of their fellow Canadians from terrorism," said Karzai in his address to the Canadian Parliament in September.

People between the ages of 18 and 34 are the most likley to oppose the mission, according to Ipsos Reid.

So far, Thirty-nine Canadian soldiers have died in Afghanistan since 2002.