Majority of Canadians favour extending anti-ISIS mission: poll

WATCH ABOVE: A majority of Canadians support the mission against ISIS that will likely be extended up to a year. Eric Sorensen reports.

Two-thirds of Canadians are in favour of extending the current Canadian Forces mission against ISIS in Iraq, according to an exclusive poll for Global News.

The Global News/Ipsos Reid poll found 66 per cent of Canadians surveyed said they agreed with the Conservative government’s intent to extend the mission past its current end date next month.

READ MORE: Harper to ask Parliament to extend, expand mission against Islamic State group

Support for continuing with the mission, known as Operation Impact, is highest among Conservative voters, with 86 per cent saying they strongly or somewhat agree with Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s plans to extend the operation.

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Respondents who indicated they vote for the Liberals showed the second-highest support for a mission extension, but far less than Conservative respondents, with 67 per cent saying they strongly or somewhat agree with an extension.

It’s a completely different story among Bloc Quebecois voters. Only 38 per cent of poll respondents who said they were Bloc Quebecois supporters we onside with extending the current mission in Iraq.

READ MORE: Former Afghanistan Task Force head raises caution flag over Iraq

Meantime, 56 per cent of NDP respondents supported extending the mission, even though NDP leader Tom Mulcair is against an extension or expansion of the mission.

(Image: Janet Cordahi). Global News

“More bombing is not the way to find a solution,” Mulcair said last Friday, calling the war against ISIS “misguided.”

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He said the possible expansion of the mission into or over Syria, where ISIS has an even stronger hold on territory and where there could be some cooperation with the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, is “so wrong that every person in Canada should be standing up four-square against it.”

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WATCH: The debate continued in the House of Commons Monday over the expansion of Canada’s anti-ISIS military campaign in Iraq and Syria

On at least two occasions recently, Defence Minister Jason Kenney has mused that CF-18s could be asked to fly strike missions against extremist targets in Syria. The prime minister has not ruled out that possibility.

The Ipsos Reid poll did not ask the 1,004 respondents whether or not they supported expanding Canada’s operations into Syrian territory.

Mulcair also said Harper has “not told the truth to Canadians” about Canadian troops being involved in activities on the front line against ISIS in Iraq, saying the death of Canadian Forces member Sgt. Andrew Joseph Doiron was proof the prime minister “lied” about troops being involved in combat-related activities.

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IN PHOTOS: Canadians honour Sgt. Andrew Doiron along the Highway of Heroes

But Doiron’s death, in a so-called “friendly-fire” incident involving Kurdish Peshmerga fighters earlier this month, didn’t seem to have caused a drastic drop in support for Operation Impact.

Of the people who took part in the poll, conducted between March 16 and March 19, 65 per cent strongly or somewhat agreed with the use of Canadian Forces on the ground to combat ISIS.

(Image: Earl Aspiras/Global News). Global News

At the same time, a clear majority, 74 per cent, of Canadians support the country’s involvement in airstrikes against ISIS in Iraq and 73 per cent of the respondents believe the international coalition can win the battle against the militant group.

Support for the mission and involvement in the airstrikes is down slightly, 2 per cent and 5 per cent respectively, from a similar poll conducted for Global News in February.

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(Image: Earl Aspiras/Global News). Global News

These are some of the findings of an Ipsos Reid poll conducted between March 16 and March 19, 2015, on behalf of Global News. For this survey, a sample of 1,004 Canadians from Ipsos’ online panel was interviewed online. Weighting was then employed to balance demographics to ensure that the sample’s composition reflects that of the adult population according to Census data and to provide results intended to approximate the sample universe. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll is accurate to within +/ – 3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, had all Canadian adults been polled.

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.

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With files from The Canadian Press

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