According to a recent poll, the majority of Saskatchewan residents are in favour of Canadian combat aircraft and troops staying in the Middle East to fight the Islamic State.
Praxis Analytics, a Saskatchewan firm that brings together several of the province’s most experienced professionals in research and consulting, polled over 630 people spread across 10 provincial regions in December. The survey found 68.9 per cent of respondents said yes to keeping fighter jets and troops involved in the fight against ISIS.
“Western respondents, and prairie in particular, generally are more supportive of doing things military than other parts of Canada,” explained Cam Cooper, principle of Praxis Analytics.
Cooper told News Talk Radio the results are not a surprise.
Cooper listed the humanitarian angle, the fact ISIS has been openly hostile to Canada, and Canada’s major allies requesting support as the main reasons why Saskatchewan residents voted “yes”.
On the other side, 31.1 per cent of respondents answered “no” citing a number of different reasons. The most-common responses included: that Canada should focus on peacekeeping, that they are against the war or there have been too many deaths, that it’s not Canada’s problem and it’s better to let other countries fight, it puts Canada at risk, it’s too expensive, it won’t be helpful, we should deal with domestic problems first, or that we should offer other support or training.
Cooper pointed out he found it interesting how the results varied between the ten Saskatchewan regions surveyed. Cooper said over three-quarters of respondents in Regina and Moose Jaw said yes (the highest throughout the 10 regions), while 55 per cent in Saskatoon are in favour of the air combat mission.
Cooper could not identify a reason as to why the numbers were drastically different between Regina, Moose Jaw and Saskatoon.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Canada’s six CF-18 fighter jets serving in the fight against the Islamic State would be coming home on Feb. 22. Those aircraft have been used to bomb ISIS targets in Syria and Iraq.
Trudeau also announced the number of Canadian Special Forces helping train and assist Iraqi security forces will triple from 69 to 207.
Two CP-140 Aurora reconnaissance aircraft and one CC-150 aerial refueling plane will stay in the Middle East.
The survey conducted by Praxis Analytics has a margin of error slightly below four per cent.