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Updated: Poll shows Canadian support divided for Syrian refugee plan

Last Updated Dec 9, 2015 at 12:23 pm EST

Canadian opinion on the Trudeau government’s plan to resettle 25,000 Syrian refugees over the next few months is nearly split down the middle.

In an exclusive poll conducted by Forum Research for CityNews, almost 50 per cent of Canadians polled say they support the government’s plan to bring 25,000 refugees to Canada by the end of February.

Of the 1,369 Canadian voters asked, 48 per cent were in favour of the plan.

The number of those opposing the plan was 44 per cent. Less than one tenth have no opinion.

The numbers are almost the same in Ontario: 47 per cent support the plan, 45 per cent are opposed and two per cent don’t know.

Regional breakdown of support for the government's refugee plan. SOURCE: FORUM
Regional breakdown of support for the government’s refugee plan. SOURCE: FORUM

Overall support is highest among the youngest (ages 18 to 34) at 55 per cent, mid-income groups at 57 per cent and in Atlantic Canada at 57 per cent.

Support is lower in the Prairies at 31 per cent, while 35 per cent of Albertans support it.

Only 19 per cent of Conservatives support the plan. Support is highest among Liberals at 68 per cent and New Democrats at 59 per cent. Sixty per cent of the people with post-graduate degrees support the plan.

Of those who support the refugee plan, 20 per cent say they have donated money or good, while 51 per cent say they are planning to donate.

“These results show that it has become easier to donate money than it has to spend your own time, which is more valuable. Nonetheless, the levels of promised support for the resettlement effort are encouraging,” said Forum Research President, Dr. Lorne Bozinoff.

Of those who support the refugee program, how willing are you to donate your time to help?
Regional breakdown of how many people are willing to volunteer their time to help the incoming refugees. SOURCE: FORUM

Ontario residents proved to be the most generous, with 78 per cent saying they had or planned to donate. Quebec residents were the least likely to donate, with only 57 per cent saying they would give.

Results are based on the total sample of 1,369 and are considered accurate plus-or-minus three per cent, 19 times out of 20.

According to the Toronto Star, the first mass arrival of 150 Syrian refugees will be coming to Pearson Airport on Thursday tomorrow. They’ll be arriving in a Royal Canadian Air Force jet, from a flight out of an airfield in Jordan.

The Yonge Street Mission is accepting winter outerwear donations for the refugees arriving in Toronto. See the tweet below for details.