Human rights trump jobs for Canadians in Saudi arms deal (Globe and Mail/Nanos Survey)

Human rights trump jobs by 2 to 1 in Saudi arms deal

According to a recent survey conducted by Nanos Research on behalf of the Globe and Mail, Canadians have an overall negative impression of the Government of Saudi Arabia and feel Canada should sell arms only to countries that respect human rights.

  • Impression of the Government of Saudi Arabia – More than four fifths of Canadians say that they have either a negative (54%) or somewhat negative (33%) opinion of the Government of Saudi Arabia, while almost one in ten (9%) are undecided. Only five percent of Canadians say they have a somewhat positive (four percent) or positive opinion (one percent).
  • Armament sales to Saudi Arabia – Nearly three fifths of Canadians (58%) say that it is more important to ensure that Canada only sells arms to countries that respect human rights than to create the 3,000 jobs needed to build the light armoured vehicles in Canada (30%) to sell to Saudi Arabia. Twelve percent of Canadians are unsure.
  • Demographic differences – It should be noted that women (67%) are significantly more likely to say that Canada should only sell arm to countries that respect human rights than men (49%). Likelihood to agree with this statement also decreases with age, as two thirds (66%) of those aged 18 to 29 said that selling arms to countries who respect human rights was more important than the jobs created, while only half (50%) of those aged 60 plus said the same. No other significant differences can be noted.

The full survey results can be found by visiting our website


Nanos conducted an RDD dual frame (land- and cell-lines) hybrid telephone and online random survey of 1,000 Canadians between January 30th and February 1st, 2016 as part of a Canadian 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. The research was commissioned by the Globe and Mail.

The margin of accuracy for a random sample of 1,000 Canadians is 3.1 percentage points, plus or minus, 19 times out of 20.


Nik Nanos, FMRIA






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