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Support for sending military aid to Ukraine rising: Leger poll

Ukrainian soldiers fire towards Russian positions on the frontline in Zaporizhzhia region, Ukraine, Saturday, June 24, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Efrem Lukatsky Ukrainian soldiers fire towards Russian positions on the frontline in Zaporizhzhia region, Ukraine, Saturday, June 24, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Efrem Lukatsky
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TORONTO -

More Canadians want the federal government to send more ammunition and other military supplies to Ukraine to aid in its war against the Russian invasion compared to last fall, the results of a new poll by Leger suggested Thursday.

The embattled country is marking two years since Russia launched a full-scale invasion and plunged the country into a brutal war.

The Canadian government has pledged to stand with Ukraine for as long as it takes to end the war, but the conflict has increasingly become a subject of domestic politics.

A quarter of people surveyed by Leger last weekend said Canada should increase the support it sends to Ukraine in the form of military supplies, compared with 20 per cent in October 2023.

Still, opinions on how much Canada should be sending appear to be split.

While 25 per cent of respondents thought it should send more, 23 per cent felt Canada should send fewer munitions to Ukraine and 34 per cent said Canada should maintain its current efforts.

As for how much money Canada spends to support the war effort, 38 per cent said Canada should maintain the same level of spending, while 31 per cent said the government should spend less. Only 16 per cent said Canada should spend more money to help Ukraine.

The majority of people polled, 60 per cent, believed there is no peace in sight and the war could drag on for several more years. Another 33 per cent expect the war to continue for another two years.

Leger's survey polled a sample of 1,529 Canadian adults. The survey cannot be assigned a margin of error because online polls are not considered a truly random sample.

Earlier this week, Defence Minister Bill Blair announced Canada will dispatch more than 800 drones to Ukraine starting as early as this spring. The $95-million donation is part of a previously announced $500-million military aid package for Ukraine.

The Conservatives accused the Liberals of failing Ukraine Wednesday, and called on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to deliver more lethal supplies to the country. Though Canada has pledged billions of dollars' worth of military support, not all of it has actually materialized.

Meanwhile, the Liberals have castigated the Conservatives for "abandoning" Ukraine after the opposition party voted against a modernized Canada-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement over the mention of a carbon price in the deal.

Humanitarian support for Ukraine appeared less polarizing, the poll suggested, as 41 per cent of respondents said Canada should maintain current levels of aid and 28 per cent suggested an increase.

Only 15 per cent of people said Canada should send less humanitarian help.

Since the invasion in 2022, Leger's surveys suggest fewer Canadians feel the conflict has the potential to develop into a world war, though 58 per cent of respondents still fear that possibility.

Three-quarters of respondents thought a global conflict could be in the offing in March 2022, a previous Leger poll showed.

As for which country will win the war, 47 per cent of respondents in the latest survey said they didn't know. The rest were divided, with 28 per cent expecting Ukraine to defeat the invading force and 25 per cent saying Russia.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 22, 2024.

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