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Canadians support more sanctions compared to war with Russia: survey

By Daniel Otis

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    TORONTO (CTV Network) — Canadians are more likely to support increasing economic sanctions compared to going to war with Russia, according to a new survey from Nanos Research.

Commissioned by CTV News and The Globe and Mail, the national public opinion poll also found that a majority of respondents would support using tax dollars to airlift Ukrainian refugees to Canada.

The survey results come nearly a month after Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the largest conflict Europe has seen since the Second World War. Canada and its allies have responded to Russian aggression by imposing sanctions and suppling arms to Ukraine, but have so far refused to create a no-fly zone out of fear of being drawn into a direct conflict with Russia.


The government’s emphasis on applying economic pressure on Russia may be resonating with Canadians, who appear to strongly support sanctions over war.

A strong majority of poll participants said they support (63%) or somewhat support (20%) increased sanctions, even if they lead to higher prices on staples such as groceries and gas. Respondents aged 18 to 34 were least likely to support additional sanctions (74%), compared with those 55 and up who overwhelmingly support them (89%).


Canadians seem split on if there should be a no-fly zone over Ukraine, which could potentially escalate the war if NATO shot down a Russian aircraft.

Forty-five per cent of poll participants opposed (30%) or somewhat opposed (15%) a no-fly zone, while 47 per cent supported (22%) or somewhat supported (25%) the measure, which the Ukrainian government has been pleading for. Respondents in Atlantic Canada were the most supportive (64%) while those in Quebec were the least (40%).


Canadians also seem split on supporting a wider war with Russia over Ukraine. Forty-five per cent of survey respondents opposed (32%) or somewhat opposed (13%) Canada going to war with Russia as part of NATO, while forty-seven per cent supported (21%) or somewhat supported (26%) an escalated conflict. Opposition to war was strongest in Quebec (57%) and with younger Canadians ages 18 to 34 (47%), while support was strongest in Atlantic Canada (62%) and with Canadians aged 55 and up (48%).

Were Russia to invade another country in addition to Ukraine, Canadians appear much more willing to accept war. Two thirds of respondents said they would support (41%) or somewhat support (25%) Canada’s involvement in such a conflict as part of NATO. Support was greatest in Atlantic Canada (71%) and with Canadians aged 55-plus (70.1%), while opposition to war remained strongest in Quebec (34.6%) and among Canadians 18 to 34 (33.4%).


The Nanos survey showed Canadians are largely in favour of welcoming of Ukrainian refugees.

When asked if Canada should accept more, the same, or fewer Ukrainian refugees when compared to the 70,000 Syrian refugees admitted to Canada since 2015, 85 per cent of survey respondents said they support accepting more (44%) or the same number (41%), while only seven per cent said Canada should admit fewer. Those in Atlantic Canada (57%), the Prairies (52%) and participants 55-plus (50%) were most likely to be willing to accept more refugees.

More than eight in ten respondents also supported (58%) or somewhat supported (27%) using Canadian tax dollars to airlift Ukrainian refugees to Canada. Support was highest in Atlantic Canada (89%) and amongst those 55 and older (92%), while opposition was strongest in B.C. (17%) and among Canadians 18 to 34 (24%).


Nanos conducted the hybrid telephone and online random survey of 1,000 Canadians, 18 years of age or older, between March 18th and 20th, 2022 as part of an omnibus survey. Participants were randomly recruited by telephone using live agents and administered a survey online. The sample included both land- and cell-lines across Canada. The results were statistically checked and weighted by age and gender using the latest Census information and the sample is geographically stratified to be representative of Canada.

The margin of error for this survey is ±3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

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Sonja Puzic

Article Topic Follows: CNN - Regional

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