by Angus Reid | November 17, 2015 9:30 pm
November 18, 2015 – In the ongoing debate among Canadians regarding the Trudeau government’s
plan to re-settle 25,000 Syrian refugees by January 1, 2016, a clear concern over timelines is emerging – and driving opposition.
The latest public opinion poll from the Angus Reid Institute – conducted three days after the terrorist attacks that killed 129 in Paris – finds this country divided over the government’s arrangement, as those against it point to a lack of time to properly conduct security checks as the main reason for their disapproval.
Half oppose the government’s plan
Even before the terrorist attacks in the French capital, fully half of the Canadian public was against the Liberal government’s plan to resettle 25,000 Syrian refugees by the first day of 2016. Indeed, it was also the second-most-opposed part of the Liberal agenda canvassed in that survey (after a promise to spend $380 million on the arts).
While Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall has written to the federal government to urge it to suspend the refugee resettlement plan in light of the Paris attacks, and the governors of more than two dozen U.S. states now say they don’t want any Syrian refugees, it appears public opinion in Canada has not been particularly moved in the immediate aftermath of the violence in France:
Larger – though statistically insignificant – numbers now say they either “strongly support” or “strongly oppose,” the plan. Of note – those choosing strong opposition do so two-to-one over those who profess strong support.
While opinion is largely unchanged, some interesting demographic shifts emerge:
Opposition driven by looming deadlines
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has maintained that his government intends to stick to its Jan. 1, 2016 deadline for implementing the resettlement plan, despite calls from Wall and others to slow it down.
This is a sticking point among opponents of the plan, more than half (53%) of whom cite the short timeline as the most important reason for their opposition, while others are concerned with actual numbers or costs. There also remains a significant core of Canadians who believe accepting refugees from Syria is the wrong thing to do:
The timeline argument is most persuasive to opponents of the plan who are over age 55. Nearly two-thirds of this group (63%) say they feel this way, compared to fewer than half of those in the younger two age groups (48% of the 35 – 54, and 47% of the 18 – 35, respectively).
By contrast, these two age groups under 55 are considerably more likely to oppose Canada taking in any Syrian refugees at all. Roughly one-third of opponents to the government’s plan in each under-55 age group choose this option (32% of the 35 – 54 and 35% of the 18-34, respectively), compared to roughly one-in-five (22%) of those over age 55.
Thus, while younger Canadians are more likely to support the plan overall, those in this age group who do oppose the plan are also the most likely to oppose any plan – large or small, short timeline or long – for bringing Syrian refugees to Canada.
Click here for the full report including tables and methodology
Click here for the questionnaire used in this survey
Shachi Kurl, Senior Vice President: 604.908.1693 firstname.lastname@example.org
Source URL: https://angusreid.org/refugee-resettlement/
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