Most Canadians Disagree With Trudeau's Plan To Withdraw CF-18s, Poll Suggests

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A new poll suggests that majority of Canadians disagree with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's pledge to withdraw Canada's CF-18 fighter jets by the end of March from the U.S.-led bombing mission against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

When asked what Canada's role should be in the fight against ISIS, only 27 per cent told the Angus Reid Institute that they were on the same page as Trudeau in wanting to stop Canada's bombing mission and focus only on training local troops in Iraq and Syria. 

Meanwhile, 11 per cent of respondents wanted to stop Canada's involvement in the fight against ISIS altogether.

cf 18Only 27 per cent said they were on he same page as Trudeau on Canada's role in the mission against ISIS. (Photo: CP)

The majority of Canadians disagreed with the prime minister, with 37 per cent saying the Liberal government should continue the current level of bombing and training provided by Canada, while 26 per cent wanted the levels increased.

Even though the withdrawal of CF-18s was a key issue during Trudeau's election campaign last year, slightly more past Liberal voters were in support of maintaining the current level of Canada's involvement than were in support of withdrawing Canada's fighter jets, at 37 per cent and 34 per cent respectively.

Almost two in three of those surveyed – 64 per cent – believe the danger ISIS poses has been "growing," which could explain the majority support for continuing Canada's bombing mission against the militant group.

Canada's global reputation


If Trudeau does follow through with his promise to withdraw fighter jets, almost half of the respondents say the move will damage Canada's standing on the global stage.

When asked what effect, if any, withdrawing CF-18 fighter jets from the ISIS mission would have on Canada's international reputation, 47 per cent of those surveyed said it would have a "negative effect", more than doubling the 18 per cent who said it would have a "positive effect."

cf18Weapons are loaded onto a CF-18 Hornet fighter jet belonging to the Canadian 410 'Couger' Squadron. (Photo: Getty Images)

Although the majority polled prefer a different course of action than the prime minister's in the fight against ISIS, a slight majority said the prime minister's office has what it takes to get the job done.

When asked how confident they were in the Trudeau government's ability to manage Canada's mission against ISIS, 54 per cent responded with either "very confident" or "somewhat confident."

The poll results are based on an online survey conducted Jan. 27-31, 2016, of 1,503 adult Canadians who are members of the Angus Reid Forum. The poll has a margin of error of +/- 2.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. 

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Most Canadians disagree with Trudeau's plan to withdraw CF-18s, poll suggests