Support for TPP in Canada Drops by 9%

An Angus Reid poll suggests that supporters for the TPP in Canada has been eroding for the last several months, dipping to its lowes level since August of 2015. Persistently, almost half of Canadians don’t have an opinion on the agreement.

Earlier, we reported on the breaking news that all 12 countries have signed off on the hugely controversial TPP. Now, Angus Reid has released some poll numbers that suggest that support for the TPP is further eroding in Canada:

After eroding from an initial high of 41 per cent in April 2015, public support for joining the TPP seems to have stabilized at around one-in-three Canadians (32%),

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Opposition and uncertainty have also remained remarkably consistent over time. Whether opinion on the deal will change as government begins its promised public consultation on the deal remains to be seen.

The drop in support may be thanks to increased uncertainty. As of now, more people than ever are apparently unsure about what the TPP is really about. Now, 49% apparently say they are unsure. Meanwhile, opposition has stayed steady at roughly 20%.

The trend will no doubt be bad news for proponents of the agreement because a loss in support means that the social license to ratify the agreement is dwindling. Even if people are simply growing less sure about the agreement, it might suggest that opposing views are, at the very least, trickling in to more Canadians about the agreement.

While there is a slight trend away from support, the CBC today pushed out an article simply saying that the numbers are remaining stagnant even with the 9% drop:

Support for Canada joining the TPP stood at 32 per cent in the poll, with 20 per cent of respondents saying they opposed joining the deal. But that still left 49 per cent of Canadians without an opinion.

These numbers have been holding steady for some time, with the Angus Reid Institute finding the number of people unsure of what they think of the TPP ranging from 44 to 49 per cent since first polling on the subject last year. Support has also held steady since September at around one-in-three, but that is a steep decline from the 41 per cent who said they supported the TPP in April, when negotiations were still underway.

At the very least, no one is disputing that nearly half of Canadians being unsure is a large share of the pie. For the most part, one can look at the numbers and say that both proponents and opponents of the agreement have a lot of room to grow support for their side of the debate in this country. A lot of minds can be changed for the time being either way.

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Google+.

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