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Majority disapprove of payout to Omar Khadr — more believe U.S. government than Khadr

In the sixth wave of the Campaign Research Poll, a national online public opinion omnibus survey conducted among a sample of 1,540 Canadian voters, the majority, 6 in 10, disapprove of the $10.5 million payout and apology given to Omar Khadr (60%), whereas one fifth approve of this payment (20%). One fifth have no opinion in the matter (19%). Disapproval is characteristic of boomers (55 to 64 - 74%), males (63%) more so than females (58%), in Alberta (73%), among Conservatives (84%) and among the wealthiest ($100K to $250K - 66%). Approval of the settlement is common to the youngest (30%), in BC and Quebec (26%), among federal Liberals (31%) and among the less wealthy ($20K to $40K - 24%).


Canadians were asked which of four terms described Omar Khadr. The plurality, 3 in 10, say he is a former child soldier (30%), while one quarter describe him as a terrorist (23%). About one tenth choose the descriptor “war criminal” (12%) and about one twentieth find him innocent (6%). As many as one quarter don’t know enough about the case to comment (24%). Describing Khadr as a child soldier is characteristic of the oldest (41%), in Quebec (40%), Liberals (37%) and Bloquistes (45% - caution: small base size) and among the wealthy ($80K to $100K - 39%). Thinking Khadr is a terrorist is common to the oldest (28%), males (29%) more than females (18%), among Conservatives (42%), in Alberta (33%) and among the wealthiest ($100K to $250K - 29%). Describing Khadr as a war criminal is also most common in Alberta and among Conservatives.


Twice as many Canadians believe the findings of the U.S. military tribunal which convicted Khadr (29%) as believe Omar Khadr’s own account of his case (15%). One fifth believe neither can be trusted as the truth (21%), while a similar proportion believe there is an element of truth in both accounts (18%). A similar proportion don’t have enough information to choose (16%). Incidence of believing Khadr’s account is highest among the youngest (22%), Quebecers (22%) and among Green Party voters (28%). Believing the U.S. military is characteristic of the oldest (55+ - 35%), males (34%) more than females (25%), in the Prairies (36%) and Alberta (37%) and among Conservatives (52%) and among the very wealthiest ($100K to $250K - 33%).

“Canadian perceptions of Omar Khadr are varied. Many believe him to be a terrorist or a war criminal, while others believe he was a child soldier. It is clear, however, that regardless of how Canadians perceive him, they are steadfastly against paying Omar Khadr a settlement and/or apologizing to him” said Eli Yufest, CEO of Campaign Research. Eli can be reached at or at (647) 931 4025, ext 109


This online poll was conducted between July 7 and July 10, among a panel of 1540 Canadian voters. A probability sample of this size would have a margin of error of plus or minus 2.5%, 19 out of 20 times.

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