Ipsos Reid

Ipsos Reid

June 10, 2006 06:00 ET

Canadians React in Wake oaf Terror-Plot Arrests

58% Feel Arrests Are "Tip Of The Iceberg" And Many More Potential Terrorist Groups Exist In Canada and Although... Attention: News Editor, Government/Political Affairs Editor TORONTO/ONTARIO/MEDIA ADVISORY--(CCNMatthews - June 10, 2006) - As the facts continue to unfold in the media about the lead-up to the arrests of several alleged terrorism plotters in the Toronto area, a new Ipsos Reid poll conducted for CanWest/Global News reports most Canadians (58%) feel the arrests represent the "tip of the iceberg" and there are likely many more potential terrorist groups in Canada not yet discovered. Many (37%), though, believe the arrests represent an isolated group of fanatical individuals and are not indicative of the existence of other potential terrorist groups in Canada.

When it comes to anti-terrorism measures, one half (49%, 18% "strongly") of Canadians feel "it is justifiable for Canadian authorities to more strongly focus their anti-terrorism surveillance on the Canadian Muslim Community than other ethnic communities" - half (47%) disagree with this notion.

However, a good majority of Canadians (72%) agree with the statement that "I have faith that Canadian Muslim Community leaders are doing all that they can to co-operate with Canadian authorities when it comes to investigating potential terrorist threats". And, in fact, six in ten (58%) say what they "find most shocking about these arrests is that all of those charged are Canadian citizens".
In the end, only a minority of Canadians (31%) offer the opinion that "terrorist threats like this one have everything to do with the fact that Canada's troops are involved in combat in Afghanistan" - most (61%) say "that even if Canadian troops weren't in Afghanistan we'd still be a target for terrorism because we are a Western Country".

These are the findings of an Ipsos Reid poll conducted on behalf of CanWest / Global News from June 6-8th, 2006. For the survey, a representative randomly selected sample of 1005 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 this entire 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 Census data.

Six In Ten (58%) Feel These Arrests Are "Tip Of The Iceberg"…

Some people say that those arrested represent an isolated group of fanatical individuals and this does not mean that there are other potential terrorist groups operating in Canada. Other people say that this group is likely just the "tip of the iceberg" and there are many more groups in Canada not yet discovered that are just waiting to commit acts of terrorism. Which comes closer to your opinion? (See press release for chart.)

* Feelings that these arrests are the "tip of the iceberg" are highest in Alberta (66%), followed by Ontario and Atlantic Canada (both at 61%).

* Feelings that these arrests are not indicative of other terrorist groups in Canada are most strong among those in Saskatchewan/Manitoba (58%) followed by those in British Columbia (45%).

Most Believe (61%) We Are A Target For Terrorism Because We Are Western Country, Not Because Of Involvement In Afghanistan (31%)…

Some people say that terrorist threats like this one have everything to do with the fact that Canada's troops are involved in combat in Afghanistan. Other people say that even if Canadian troops weren't in Afghanistan we'd still be a target for terrorism because we are a Western Country, like the United States and Britain. Which comes closer to your opinion? (See press release for chart.)

* The opinion that these terrorist threats have everything to do with Canada's troops being involved in combat in Afghanistan is most common in Saskatchewan/Manitoba (38%), followed by Atlantic Canada (36%).

* Three-quarters (75%) of Albertans feel we are a target for terrorism because we are a Western country - the highest proportion in the country.

Canadian Attitudes Post Terrorism Arrests…

Please tell me if you strongly agree, somewhat agree, somewhat disagree or strongly disagree with the following statements (see press release for chart).

Regional Notes…

* Albertans (56%) are the least likely to agree with the statement "I have faith that Canadian Muslim Community leaders are doing all that they can to co-operate with Canadian authorities when it comes to investigating potential terrorist threats", and are the most likely to agree (61%) that it "is justifiable for Canadian authorities to more strongly focus their anti-terrorism surveillance on the Canadian Muslim Community than other ethnic communities".

* Atlantic Canadians (65%) are the most likely to agree that they find "most shocking about these arrests is that those charged are Canadian citizens".

Table provided in press release.

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For more information on this news release, please contact:

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

For full tabular results, please visit our website at www.ipsos.ca. News Releases are available at: http://www.ipsos-na.com/news/

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