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Two-thirds of Canadians support military force to end Ottawa protests: poll

Two-thirds of Canadians believe Canada’s democracy is being threatened by the Ottawa protesters, and that the truckers are being heavily funded by foreign interests.

A new poll finds more than two-thirds of Canadians would support the use of military force to help clear out Ottawa protesters, while support for the truckers has fallen to 20 per cent – both for what they are protesting and how they are going about it.

The latest survey by Maru Public Opinion finds 64 per cent approve using the Armed Forces to clear out trucks with heavy tows while 53 per cent support the use of force by Ottawa police to remove truckers, their families and others who refuse to leave. This includes the use of tear gas and other methods, with the understanding that such measures could result in injury.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has been asked on several occasions about bringing in the military to assist with the Ottawa protests. While he claims everything is on the table, he says he is “concerned about violence” and that every precaution is being taken to keep people safe.

Ottawa police Chief Peter Sloly said Friday the biggest limitation on his force’s ability to end the crisis is a lack of officers, adding he was still waiting on a response to his request for 1,800 personnel from the RCMP and Ontario Provincial Police.

Ontario premier Doug Ford declared a state of emergency on Friday, making it illegal and punishable to block and impede the movement of goods, people and services along critical infrastructure while both the cities of Ottawa and Windsor were granted injunctions to deal with protesters.

Democracy threatened

Two-thirds of Canadians believe Canada’s democracy is being threatened by the protesters while 67 per cent of those asked believe the truckers are being heavily funded by foreign interests. Six in 10 equate the current protests to the same mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol back on January 6, 2021.

Forth-six per cent blame the truckers for inciting and escalating the protests over the past two weeks while almost a third lay the blame at the feet of the prime minister. Another seven per cent blame the leadership of the federal Conservative party while one in six say “others” are responsible.

When it comes to the prime minister’s performance during the convoy protests, 53 per cent of those asked say Justin Trudeau has looked weak in the face of threats to the country while 44 per cent believe he has inflamed the current situation. One in six say Trudeau has done everything he can to try and calm things down and find a solution. A similar percentage (16 per cent) say they would vote for him based on how he has handled the current situation.

As for what punishment the protesters should face, two thirds say anyone aiding and abetting them should face fines and prison terms while six in 10 would like to see the truckers face fines and jail terms of up to two years. Similar majorities would also like to see them forfeit their vehicles, commercial and personal licenses for up to two years. Only one in three Canadians believes they should be left alone, that it is their right to protest as they are currently doing.

The poll was conducted Feb. 9 and 10, 2022 among a random selection of 1,506 Canadian adults who are Maru Voice Canada panellists and is accurate within +/- 2.5 per cent, 19 times out of 20.

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