WATCH: An exclusive Global News poll shows a large majority of Canadians agree that our troops should be fighting with the coalition against Islamic State militants. Eric Sorensen reports.
OTTAWA – Support is on the rise for Canada’s mission against ISIS, according to an exclusive new poll for Global News.
Seventy-six per cent of Canadians agree, either strongly or somewhat, that they “support the use of Canadian Forces fighter jets in the international coalition’s airstrikes against ISIS targets in Iraq,” says the Ipsos Reid poll conducted on behalf of Global News.
Support is up 12 points when compared to a similar poll conducted at the end of September before Canada announced it would participate in the airstrikes.
“People now I think in Canada believe that we’re systematically at war with someone – and they see that opponent as being especially savage,” said Darrell Bricker, CEO of Ipsos Global Public Affairs.
“As a result they feel that it is, not only just in the international community’s best interest, but in Canada’s best interest, to really get behind doing something about this. And I think that’s what’s changed.”
READ MORE: Majority of Canadians support use of troops to stop ISIS: poll
Bricker believes a “confluence of events” in the last several months, including videos of beheadings and the Oct. 22 shooting in Ottawa, have led to an increase in support for fighting ISIS.
“It’s very clear who it is that we’re going after,” he said.
The poll also says most Canadians, at 83 per cent, consider it a combat mission – despite the fact the mission was originally billed as air and personnel support. Since then, the Canadian military has come under fire four times and conducted 14 airstrikes, according to officials.
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The shift has led opposition MPs in Ottawa to accuse the Conservative government of misleading Canadians. But that hasn’t impacted the mission’s support, says Bricker.
“These have the potential to become issues if this goes on for much longer. I think Canadians want all of these things to be well-considered, but right now I would say this is inside the beltway conversation,” he said.
“Outside of that, Canadians are fairly clear on their point of view.”
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Canadians also believe the war against ISIS can be won, and about 70 per cent of Canadians support the use of Canadian Forces on the ground.
The proportion of Canadians who agree the war can be won is at 78 per cent, up 7 points since December, the poll says.
Three-quarters agree that “we should do everything possible to prevent ISIS from getting its own state, even if it means putting Canadian soldiers on the ground in Iraq,” the poll says.
Nationally, support is strongest at 88 per cent in Saskatchewan and Manitoba, followed by Alberta (81 per cent), Atlantic Canada (79 per cent), Ontario (79 per cent), British Columbia (76 per cent), and Quebec (66 per cent).
Support for Canadian Forces on the ground is also highest in Saskatchewan and Manitoba at 76 per cent, and lowest in Quebec at 64 per cent.
More men support the mission than women, at 82 per cent and 71 per cent, respectively. And those aged 34 to 54 and older are most supportive of the mission.
The poll was conducted between Feb. 9 and 12, 2015. A sample of 1,005 Canadians from Ipsos’ Canadian online panel was interviewed online. The poll is considered accurate within +/3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.
The data, summaries and commentary in exclusive Global News / Ipsos Reid polling are subject to copyright. The data, summaries and commentary may only be rebroadcast or republished with full and proper attribution to both Global News and Ipsos Reid in all web articles, on social media, in radio broadcasts and with an on-screen credit for television.