Ipsos Reid

Ipsos Reid

July 16, 2005 06:30 ET

CANADIANS OFFER OPINIONS IN WAKE OF ATTACK ON LONDON

Majority Of Canadians (63%)Agree It's "Only A Matter Of Time" Before Canada Is Attacked By Terrorists Attention: News Editor, World News Editor TORONTO, ON--(CCNMatthews - July 16, 2005) - In the wake of the London terrorist attack bombings that left scores dead and hundreds wounded, and recent warnings from Canada's public safety minister that Canadians need to prepare themselves psychologically for a potentially similar terrorist attack in their own country, Ipsos-Reid launched a national survey among 1001 Canadians that sought to gauge anxiety levels towards terrorism and assess specific areas of terrorism concern among the public.

The survey, provided exclusively to CanWest/Global and CFRB, shows that most Canadians have a sense of inevitability when thinking about a terrorist attack in Canada: Sixty-three percent agree that "it is only a matter of time before Canada has a terrorist attack in a major Canadian city like what recently happened in London, England". And two-thirds (65%) agree "there are international terrorists operating in Canada and intending to commit acts of terror against Canadians just like what recently happened in London, England".

Most (57%) disagree with the statement that "that all levels of government, as well as police, emergency and medical personnel are adequately prepared to deal with a terrorist attack in a Canadian city" -- 41% agree with this statement

But despite feelings among most that a terrorist attack is inevitable, half of Canadians (52%) say they are not currently worried about the threat of terrorism in their country -- compared to 44% who say they are worried about this threat.

Nine in ten (89%) believe officials should take the threat of terrorism towards Canadians by Osama bin Laden seriously. But, a strong majority (74%) believe that, despite these threats, Canada should not be intimidated and should stay the course in our role in supporting the United States and other countries in Afghanistan.

These are the findings of an Ipsos-Reid poll provided exclusively to CanWest/Global and CFRB conducted from July 12th to July 14th, 2005. For the survey, a representative randomly selected sample of 1001 adult Canadians was interviewed by telephone. With a sample of this size, the results are considered accurate to within ±3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what they would have been had the entire adult Canadian population been polled. The margin of error will be larger within regions and for other sub-groupings of the survey population. These data were weighted to ensure the sample's regional and age/sex composition reflects that of the actual Canadian population according to the 2001 Census data.

Most (63%) Canadians Agree It's "Only A Matter Of Time" Before Canada Is Attacked By Terrorists…

Most Canadians (63%) agree that "it is only a matter of time before Canada has a terrorist attack in a major Canadian city like what recently happened in London, England" (37% somewhat/26% strongly). A minority (35%) do not agree with this notion (23% somewhat/13% strongly), and 1% say they "don't know".

•Agreement with this statement is highest among residents in Alberta (75%), Saskatchewan/Manitoba (73%), Ontario (69%), and British Columbia (68%) - and is lowest among residents in Quebec (45%).
•Younger Canadians aged 18-34 are the least likely to agree with this statement (50% vs. 69% among those aged 35 and older).

Two-Thirds (65%, Up 10 Points From 2002 And 2001) Believe There Are Terrorist Operating In Canada Who Intend To Commit Acts Of Terror Against Canadians…

Two-thirds of Canadians (65%) agree with the statement "there are international terrorists operating in Canada and intending to commit acts of terror against Canadians just like what recently happened in London, England" (40% somewhat/24% strongly). Thirty-four percent of Canadians disagree with this statement (23% somewhat/11% strongly), and 2% "don't know".

Canadians today are substantially more likely (+10 points) to agree with this statement than they were in September 2001 and September 2002. Tracking results are shown in the graph below:
Percentage Of Canadians Who Believe There Are Terrorists Operating In Canada And Intending To Commit Acts Of Terror Against Canadians

•Residents of Saskatchewan/Manitoba (74%) are the most likely to agree with this statement, followed by residents of Ontario and Alberta (both at 71%). Residents of Quebec (49%) are the least likely to agree with this statement.
•Younger Canadians aged 18-34 are the least likely to agree with this statement (53% vs. 70% among those aged 35 and older).

Most (57%) Do Not Believe Canadian Government And Emergency Services Are Prepared To Deal With A Terrorist Attack In Canada…

Fifty-seven percent of Canadians disagree with the statement that "I believe that all levels of government, as well as police, emergency and medical personnel are adequately prepared to deal with a terrorist attack in a Canadian city" (9% strongly/31% somewhat), 41% agree with this statement (31% somewhat/9% strongly), and 2% "don't know".

In a similarly worded question asked in September 2002, most Canadians (56%) agreed that "Canadian police, firefighters and emergency crews are adequately trained to deal with a terrorist attack in my community" - while 42% disagreed with this statement.

•There are no notable demographic variances of opinion with respect to this question.

But Despite Feelings Among Most That Terrorist Attack Is Inevitable, Half (52%) Say They Are Not Worried About Threat Of Terrorism In Canada…

Half of Canadians (52%) say that they are either not too worried (31%) or not worried at all (18%) about the threat of terrorism in their country. Meanwhile, 44% say they are either somewhat worried (39%) or very worried (12%) about this threat.

•Residents of British Columbia (59%), Ontario (54%) and Saskatchewan/Manitoba (53%) are the most likely to say they are not worried about the threat of terrorism in their country.
•Residents of Quebec (52%) are the most likely to say they are worried about the threat of terrorism in their country.

Nine In Ten (89%) Think Canadian Officials Should Take The Threat Of Terrorism By Osama Bin Laden Seriously…

After being read the following introduction: "in November, 2002, Osama bin Laden threatened the populations of five countries that included Britain, France, Italy, Canada, Germany and Australia because of their alliance with the United States in Afghanistan. He said "You will be killed just as you kill and will be bombed just as you bomb". As you may know, Canada has military forces in Afghanistan which may potentially involved in action against Taliban or Al Quida forces that are loyal to Osama bin Laden", Canadians were asked how seriously they think Canadian officials should take the threat of terrorism towards Canadians by Osama bin Laden.

Eighty-nine percent of Canadians believe Canadian officials should take the threat of terrorism towards Canadians by Osama bin Laden seriously (52% very seriously/37% somewhat seriously). Only a small portion (10%) do not think Canadian officials should take this threat seriously.

•Residents of Alberta (97%) are the most likely to believe Canadian officials should take these threats seriously, followed closely be residents of Saskatchewan/Manitoba (93%), and Ontario (92%) - while residents of Quebec (81%) are the least likely to believe these threats should be taken seriously.
•Women are more likely than men to believe these threats warrant serious consideration by officials (92% vs. 86%).

But, A Strong Majority (74%) Feel That Canada Should Not Be Intimidated By Osama bin Laden's Threats And Stay The Course In Supporting The United States In Afghanistan…

A strong majority (74%) believe that, despite the threats by Osama bin Laden, "Canada should not be intimidated by such threats and stay the course in our role in supporting the United States with other countries in Afghanistan". One in five (22%) are of the opinion that "the Canadian government should pull our troops out of Afghanistan immediately", a further 4% "don't know".

•Those most likely to feel that Canada should stay the course in Afghanistan are residents of Saskatchewan/Manitoba (84%), British Columbia (82%), and Alberta (80%).
•Residents of Quebec (38%) are the most likely to believe that Canada should pull our troops out immediately.
•Men are more likely than women to believe we should stay the course in Afghanistan (80% vs. 70%).

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For more information on this news release, please contact:

John Wright
Senior Vice President
Ipsos-Reid
Public Affairs
(416) 324-2900

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