Majority of Canadians want troops home from Afghanistan, says new poll | National Union of Public and General Employees

Majority of Canadians want troops home from Afghanistan, says new poll

New public opinion research by Ipsos Reid reveals that a majority of Canadians want all of the troops in Afghanistan brought home in 2011 when Canada's mission there is due to end.

Ottawa (16 July 2009) - According to the results of a new poll conducted by Ipsos Reid, 52 per cent of those polled say Canadian troops should leave Afghanistan when Canada's commitment there ends in July 2011. Only 27 per cent say troops should stay to perform non-security-related duties. 

The new results demonstrate a shift in how Canadians view the military's role beyond its 2011 commitment.  In 2008, 37 per cent of those surveyed by Ipsos Reid said all of the troops should be pulled out, while 45 per cent said they should stay for non-combat-related efforts.

John Wright, senior vice-president of Ipsos Reid, told CanWest News Service yesterday that he thinks "it's fair to say that people are expressing the view, to a majority, that it's time to bring the men and women who have been serving, home." 

Last year, the Parliament voted to extend Canada's military role in Afghanistan until July 2011, and all troops are to depart by December of that year.  However, the Harper government, facing pressure from its NATO allies, has on occasion hinted that another motion could be presented to Parliament, proposing to extend the mission further.  

The new poll results by Ipsos Reid suggest that such a motion would be contrary to the opinion of the majority of Canadians. 

The poll, conducted for Canwest News Service and Global Television between June 29 and July 6, asked 1,001 people about their views on Canada's troops and their mission in Afghanistan. The poll's estimated margin of error is plus or minus 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.


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