Almost Half of Canadians Believe Tamil Migrants Should Be Deported

Almost Half of Canadians Believe Tamil Migrants Should Be Deported
Most respondents think the ship should have been turned back and not allowed to reach Canada.

Many Canadians are paying attention to the developing story related to the arrival of Tamil refugee claimants from Sri Lanka, and a large majority expect more ships carrying migrants to attempt to reach Canadian waters in the next few months, a new Angus Reid Public Opinion poll has found.

The online survey of a representative sample of 1,019 Canadian adults also finds that a large proportion of respondents believe that the ship should have been turned back and not allowed to reach Canada.

The Story

A ship carrying about 490 Tamil migrants from Sri Lanka arrived in British Columbia last week. The ship’s passengers and crew are currently undergoing medical and identification checks to determine the legitimacy of their refugee claims.

More than half of Canadians (64%) are following this story in the media “very closely” or “moderately closely”, including 72 per cent of respondents in British Columbia.

Three-in-five Canadians (63%) believe that the ship carrying the Tamil migrants should have been turned back and not allowed to reach Canada. In addition, four-in-five respondents (83%) think the migrants aboard this ship are jumping the immigration queue and should apply like any other foreigner who wants to relocate to Canada.

What to do?

Respondents were asked to choose a specific course of action if the refugee claims from the Tamil migrants are legitimate, and there is no discernible link between them and any terrorist organization.

Almost half of Canadians (48%) would deport the passengers and crew to their country of origin, while one third (35%) would allow them to stay in Canada as refugees.

While British Columbians and Atlantic Canadians are almost evenly divided in their assessment of this case, 53 per cent of Ontarians and Albertans are in favour of deporting the migrants.

Some people have said that this ship was a “test boat” intended to gauge the response of the federal government. Seven-in-ten Canadians (72%) expect more ships carrying migrants to attempt to reach Canadian waters in the next few months.

Full Report, Detailed Tables and Methodology (PDF)

Methodology: From August 17 to August 18, 2010, Angus Reid Public Opinion conducted an online survey among 1,019 randomly selected Canadian adults who are Angus Reid Forum panelists. The margin of error—which measures sampling variability—is +/- 3.1%, 19 times out of 20. The results have been statistically weighted according to the most current education, age, gender and region Census data to ensure a sample representative of the entire adult population of Canada. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.


Tags assigned to this article:
DeportationSri LankaTamil Tigers

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