SHOWS 64.6% OF ONTARIANS SAY
A poll conducted by phone from June 5 to 11, 2007 has shown that close to two thirds of Ontarians favour letting US Iraq War resisters settle in Canada. The poll, conducted by the national research firm Strategic Communications Inc., asked 605 residents of Ontario the following question:
"As you may have heard, a number of U.S. soldiers are coming to Canada because they have decided they will not take part in the Iraq War. Some Canadians say they should be allowed to settle in Canada, and other Canadians say they should be sent back to the U.S. What do you think?" (The order in which the options were put to respondents was "rotated" to ensure fairness.)
Of the 605 Ontarians who responded to the question, 64.6% said U.S. soldiers should be allowed to settle in Canada; 27.2% said they should be sent home; 7% said they were unsure or did not know; and 1.3% declined to answer the question. These results are accurate within plus or minus 4% 19 times out of 20. The poll results were broken down by gender, age, location (within the Greater Toronto Area or outside it) and by party support. 74% of NDP voters, 71% of Liberal voters and 53% of Conservative voters said "let them settle in Canada".
"This is a very convincing result," said Stratcom's head of polling, John Willis. "With public sentiment running 2-to-1 in favour of letting them stay, there is clearly momentum behind those who promote that view"
The War Resisters Support Campaign, which has been assisting US military personnel who come to Canada because of their opposition to the Iraq War since 2004, asked Stratcom to undertake the poll. "We're very gratified by these results", said Lee Zaslofsky, the Campaign's National Coordinator. "They confirm what we've have found all along -- that Canadians are ready to welcome US soldiers who, like Canada itself, refuse to take part in a war they believe is wrong."
"This poll shows that the Canadian tradition of welcoming Americans who dissent from the policies of war is still important to us," said actor Shirley Douglas. "The Canadian government should move now to make it possible for the war resisters to settle in this country, as so many did during the Vietnam War."
further information: Lee Zaslofsky 416 598 1222 or 416 369 0864