This according to a survey done by the Department of Naional Defense.
First, my apologies, I have not found an online source for this information. I heard this on CKNW yesterday afternoon. They gleaned it from the pages of a recent National Post.
Apparently, the government survey was conducted recently, was nationwide, and surveyed 1500 people. Which would give it a high accuracy.
There were two interesting questions reported by CKNW… and I am paraphrasing.
Q: What do you think constitutes the greatest threat to Canadian National Security today.
The Answers were….
38% International Organized Crime
37% International Terrorists
37% US Foreign Policy.
This survey is an annual procedure for the Department of Naitonal Defense. They use it to guide their policy for the coming years. Therefore, it’s very hard to spin the results as being automatically biased to the “left” or “right”.
Given that… this shows something that will likely come as a bit of a shock even to my more cynical American readers.
However, I am not surprised by the results at all. I interpret them this way. The Canadian/American relationship has soured considerably since George Bush was elected and especially since the Iraq war. There continues to be outstanding gripes, on a wide range of issues, on both sides of the border, and I believe this is being reflected in this survey. As many Americans have woken up and realised that we Canadians may not be as sweet and innocent as they always thought, we Canadians, have also woken up and realised that our neighbour to the South is not quite as friendly to us as we’d thought, or would like.
That said, it is quite stunning that Terrorism and US Foreign Policy have been given an equal ranking in Canadians level of fear for their country.
Why US Foreign Policy? I think because of the uncertainty and unpredictability of both it’s actual policy, and its’ effects on the world.
We simply can’t be sure what’s going to happen in Iraq.
We simply don’t know if the war in Iraq has increased the likelihood of Terrorist attacks (in the US and Canada).
We don’t know what’s happening with North Korea or the effect of the Missile Defense Plan.
I think Canadians despise uncertainty and dishonesty… and right now US Foreign Policy is largely based on those two principles.
That makes us very nervous, perhaps needlessly so, of our Southern Neighbour.
And Quickly, another interesting question in the survey was apparently on centered on whether Canadians felt the Military needed more funding in order to operate effectively, and whether Canadians were willing to pay for it.
Apparently, for the first time in 20 years, Canadians said they were willing to give up other services, pay more taxes, or do other things… in order to boost funding to the Military and restore our the Canadian Forces to a more effective, modern, and frankly useable body.
I’m sure the DND will be waving that particular finding right in front of the face of the Prime Minister. As they should.
I’ve finally found a reference to the poll that I’m talking about here. It’s at the National Post… unfortunately, it doesn’t reference the responses on Foreign Policy, only on the military itself.
Asked how to find more money in the federal budget for the military, the most popular suggestion — favoured by 36% — was to reduce other programs and services. Another 22% was willing to see taxes increased, while 14% favoured running a deficit to pay for a revamped Canadian Forces.
Also, it appears this survey was conducted in February.. strange that we’re only hearing about it now.
There is another story about the survey, but it’s subscriber only. Anyone out there subscribed to the National Post online? I already have far too many online subscriptions… and subscribing to a paper that I can get for free off the street seems… silly.
Thanks goes out to BBryans in the comments section. He found a non-pay version of the story on a National Post affiliate out of Saskatoon.
The 1,500 people contacted for the poll, conducted last February for the Department of National Defence, listed “International Organized Crime” as the top danger, with 38 per cent ranking it as a great threat to security concern and another 50 per cent listing it as moderate.
But tied for second in the poll were “U.S. Foreign Policy” and “Terrorism,” with 37 per cent rating it a great risk. Just behind those worries came “Climate Change and Global Warming.”
the only explanation for the percentages has to be that respondents could pick more than one response.