Exclusive poll finds huge support for Syrian refugees

About two-thirds of Canadians support taking in 25,000 or more Syrian refugees, and even more said they are “uncomfortable” with Donald Trump’s proposal to ban the immigration of Muslims to the United States.

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The Nanos Research survey for CTV News found 37 per cent agreed that the Trudeau government’s decision to take in 25,000 Syrians was “about right.” Another 28 per cent said Canada should take even more than that.

Meanwhile, 28 per cent said they preferred to take in fewer than 25,000 and seven per cent said they were unsure.

Support for taking in more than 25,000 Syrians was highest in Atlantic Canada (45%) and lowest in the Prairies (19%).

Although the poll suggests most Canadians agree with taking at least 25,000 refugees, the country appears more divided on whether the government is moving at the right pace.

While 51 per cent of those polled agreed the government is moving at the right pace, 40 per cent said the Liberals are moving too quickly, four per cent said too slowly and five per cent said they were unsure.

The Liberals originally promised to have 25,000 in Canada by New Year’s Day, but revised that earlier this month to 10,000, with 15,000 more by the end of February. As of Dec. 21, only 1,869 have arrived, and Immigration Minister John McCallum said Wednesday there’s no guarantee the government’s timeline can be met.

Atlantic Canadians were most likely to agree the pace is right (66%) while those in B.C. were least likely to agree (46%).

The poll also asked about Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump’s widely publicized proposal to ban Muslim immigration to the U.S.

More than two-thirds (68%) agreed they were “uncomfortable with the U.S. having a policy that would ban Muslim immigration,” and another 10 per cent were “somewhat uncomfortable.”

Fewer than one in five said they were “comfortable” (11%) or “somewhat comfortable” (8%) with Trump’s position. Three per cent chose “unsure.”

Those polled in Atlantic Canada were least likely to say they were comfortable or somewhat comfortable with Trump’s proposal (15%), while those in the Prairies were the most likely to be comfortable or somewhat comfortable (25%) with the idea.

Survey methodology:The poll was based on a RDD dual-frame (land- and cell-line) hybrid telephone and online random survey of 1,000 Canadians taken between Dec. 18 and 21, 2015. The margin of error for a survey of 1,000 Canadians is ±3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.



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