Canadians are split on whether the SNC-Lavalin controversy constitutes primarily a legal or political issue, a new Nanos Research survey finds.

Results from the survey, commissioned by CTV News, find just under half of Canadians said the SNC-Laval scandal involving the resignations of high-profile cabinet ministers is “primarily a serious legal issue of attempted interference in justice.”

Approximately the same number said it was “primarily a political issue” involving former cabinet ministers Jody Wilson-Raybould and Jane Philpott and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Eight per cent said they were unsure, according to the results from the survey, which was released April 2.

Meanwhile, western Canadians – 59 per cent in the Prairies and 54 per cent in British Columbia -- are more likely to consider it primarily a legal issue.

And in the east, Canadians are more likely to consider it a political issue – 56 per cent in Quebec and 55 per cent in Atlantic.

The survey is based on a hybrid telephone and online random survey of 1,000 Canadians, 18 and older, between March 29 and April 1. The sample included both cellular phones and land-lines across Canada. The margin of error for a random survey of 1,000 Canadians is plus or minus 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

SNC-Lavalin has found itself in the centre of a political firestorm after former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould alleged she faced inappropriate pressure to overrule federal prosecutors, who decided not to negotiate a deferred prosecution agreement with the firm.

Trudeau and SNC-Lavalin have argued being convicted in a criminal trial would lead to the loss of thousands of jobs.