Trade negotiations take higher priority for Canadians in foreign affairs over humanitarian, military aid
By ANGUS REID INSTITUTE
July 24, 2018 – What started as a civil war in Mali is now a simmering conflict with deadly eruptions of violence, alliance switching and political manipulation. And while the strife in West Africa has evaded Canadian attention thus far, a year-long military engagement for Canadian troops may capture more attention.
A new Angus Reid Institute study finds majority support for Canada’s recent announcement of involvement in Mali, though political leanings drive views on this issue.
Six-in-ten (59%) Canadians say the Trudeau government’s decision to deploy approximately 250 troops to Mali is the right move. Four-in-ten (41%) however, led heavily by past Conservative (CPC) voters (59%), say that the mission is too risky and Canada should avoid participation.
Much public opinion divide on this issue however, rests on prioritization. While most Canadians (70%) say national peacekeeping efforts are a “source of pride”, they also say the country’s top international priority is not military presence on the global stage (10%), or humanitarian aid (25%), but focusing on trade ties with foreign partners (65%).
More Key Findings:
- Political affiliation is a key factor in support or opposition of the Mali Mission. Past Liberal voters (71%) and New Democrats (69%) are equally likely to say Canada should be taking part, while only 41 per cent of past CPC supporters agree
- Those most aware of the conflict in Mali are the most opposed to the mission. Just over half (53%) among this group say the mission is too risky to participate in
- While Canada is sending a contingent of military personnel, and has donated hundreds of millions of dollars to Mali, half of Canadians (50%) say they would prefer to send troops over funding, while one-third (34%) say the opposite
- Canadians are near unanimous in agreeing that Canada has a positive reputation abroad, but they’re divided over how it has changed in the past 10 years. Three-in-ten (29%) say it has improved, 24 per cent say it has worsened, and four-in-ten (40%) say it is about the same as it was a decade ago
Link to the poll here: www.angusreid.org/mali-mission-peacekeeping