Nearly half of Canadians say Liberal government did a poor job on Afghanistan evacuations: Nanos

TORONTO — Nearly half of Canadians say that the federal Liberal government did a poor or very poor job on evacuating Canadians and Afghan nationals from Afghanistan, according to new polling from Nanos Research.

The poll, conducted by Nanos Research and sponsored by CTV News and The Globe and Mail, found that 28 per cent of Canadians rated the government’s performance on Afghanistan evacuations as very poor and 17 per cent rated the job as poor, totalling 45 per cent of those surveyed.

Only four per cent rated the government’s evacuation efforts as very good and 16 per cent answered that the response was good.

Of those surveyed, 25 per cent of Canadians said that the federal government did an “average” job while 10 per cent said they were unsure.

The poll found that those living in the Prairies (40 per cent) and Ontario (31 per cent) are more likely to say the government has done a very poor job compared to residents of Atlantic Canada (16 per cent) and Quebec (18 per cent).

Men are more likely to rate the performance of the Liberal government as poor or very poor, at 52 per cent compared to 38 per cent of women. Those age 55 and older (52 per cent) were also more likely to say the government did a poor job on Afghanistan evacuations compared to younger counterparts.

As of Friday, the Canadian government reported that it has evacuated over 3,700 people from Afghanistan with more than 3,000 evacuees having arrived in Canada. Those evacuees have been settled in 20 communities across B.C, Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.

Compared to other NATO countries, Canada sits behind Germany and Italy regarding the total number of refugees withdrawn by a member state.

In a statement issued by Foreign Affairs Minister Marc Garneau and Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino, they said the federal government expects more evacuees to arrive in Canada “in the near future.”

“The Government of Canada continues to use all avenues available to help Canadian citizens, permanent residents and their families, and vulnerable Afghans eligible under the special immigration measures, to leave Afghanistan and come to Canada,” the statement read.

The statement said the Canadian government continues to have “daily” discussions with NATO countries to “help get as many people to safety as possible.” As well, David Sproul, Canada’s envoy to Afghanistan, is in Doha, Qatar to engage with allies and regional partners on the ground while representing Canada’s point of view in talks on safe passage.

According to the statement, officials are working with the United States to welcome up to 5,000 refugees, who were evacuated by American forces, to Canada as part of the country’s program to accept up to 20,000 Afghan refugees.

The Taliban have promised to allow safe passage out of the country for any foreigners or Afghans left behind by the massive airlifts by NATO countries, which ended with the withdrawal of the last U.S. troops on Monday — more than two weeks after the Islamist militia captured Kabul and brought an end to 20 years of war.

Despite this, the airport in Kabul is still closed, causing many to flee overland to neighbouring countries.

The Canadian government acknowledged that the situation on the ground in Afghanistan “remains fluid” and that its officials are in regular contact with Canadian citizens, permanent residents and Afghan applicants.

Canada’s special immigration pathway remains open to Afghan nationals, and their families, who assisted the Canadian military during their mission in Afghanistan.

According to Friday’s statement, there are 470 Canadian citizens currently still in Afghanistan, as well as close to 260 permanent residents and 500 family members.

Garneau previously told reporters that individuals still trapped in Afghanistan should “stay in place” at the moment to see how the situation unfolds, but if they can make it to a “third country” local Canadian diplomats may be able to provide further assistance.

METHODOLOGY

Nanos conducted an RDD dual frame (land-and cell-lines) hybrid telephone and online random survey of 1,029 Canadians, 18 years of age or older, between August 28 and 30, 2021 as part of an omnibus survey. Participants were randomly recruited by telephone using live agents and administered a survey online. The sample included both land- and cell-lines across Canada. The results were statistically checked and weighted by age and gender using the latest Census information and the sample is geographically stratified to be representative of Canada. Individuals were randomly called using random digit dialling with a maximum of five call backs.

The margin of error for this survey is ±3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. This study was commissioned by CTV News and the Globe and Mail and the research was conducted by Nanos Research.

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