Canadians see the United States in a more positive light since Joe Biden’s electoral victory over Donald Trump, while negative impressions of China are on the rise, according to a new Nanos Research survey.
The poll results are being released at a key moment in Canada’s relationship with both countries. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mr. Biden held their first official bilateral meeting via teleconference Tuesday, the day after the House of Commons voted 266 to zero in support of a motion declaring that “a genocide is being carried out by the People’s Republic of China against Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslims.”
Mr. Trudeau and his cabinet members abstained from that vote – ostensibly to avoid further souring relations with Beijing.
The Nanos survey found that 66 per cent of respondents had a positive (30 per cent) or somewhat positive (36 per cent) opinion of the U.S. as an ally. Twenty per cent had either a somewhat negative (15 per cent) or negative (5 per cent) opinion of the U.S.
Those are significantly different responses to a similar question in 2019, when only 44 per cent had a positive (19 per cent) or somewhat positive (25 per cent) opinion of the U.S. At the time, when Mr. Trump was still in office, 44 per cent of Canadians surveyed had either a somewhat negative (27 per cent) or negative (17 per cent) opinion of the U.S.
This year’s telephone survey of 1,036 Canadian adults was conducted between Jan. 31 and Feb. 4. The 2019 poll of 1,000 Canadians was conducted between April 25 and 28 of that year. The margin of error for both surveys is plus or minus 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.
Mr. Biden, a Democrat, was sworn in as President of the United States on Jan. 20 after defeating Mr. Trump, a Republican, in the Nov. 3 presidential election.
As for Canadians’ opinions of China, positive sentiment has dropped and negative views are up.
The most recent survey found that just 3 per cent of respondents had a positive opinion of China as a Canadian partner, while 12 per cent said they had a somewhat positive opinion. Thirty-eight per cent said they had a negative opinion, and 31 per cent said they had a somewhat negative opinion. Fifteen per cent said they were neutral about China, and 2 per cent said they were unsure.
By way of contrast, the 2019 poll found 4 per cent had a positive opinion, 19 per cent had a somewhat positive opinion, 31 per cent had a somewhat negative opinion and 25 per cent had a negative opinion. Nineteen per cent said they were neutral about China, and 3 per cent were unsure.
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