Poll: 74% of Canadians support joining the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons


Canadians are joining their peers in NATO with strong support to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. A new poll released by Nanos Research on 6 April 2021 shows strong support for the nuclear ban among the Canadian public with 74% of respondents expressing support for joining the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. Released days just after Montreal and White Rock became the 13th and 14th Canadian cities to join the ICAN City Appeal, the poll is clear evidence that momentum towards the ban treaty is growing in Canada.

This poll is the first major assessment of Canadian public opinion on nuclear weapons since the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons was adopted and it demonstrates that Canadians are as committed as ever to nuclear disarmament. Of those surveyed, 80% agreed that “The world should work to eliminate nuclear weapons” and 73% believe that “Canada should join the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, even if, as a member of NATO, it might come under pressure from the United States not to do so.”

Commissioned by three civil society organizations, Hiroshima Nagasaki Day Coalition, The Simons Foundation Canada and le Collectif Échec à la guerre, the poll follows an Appeal to Parliament published in the Ottawa Hill Times on January 18 and 20 that was endorsed by over 400 individuals and organizations. The Government of Canada has thus far refused to calls for a parliamentary study on the TPNW or a parliamentary debate on Canada’s nuclear disarmament policy but the pressure is growing. The poll found over 75% of those surveyed want to see Parliament have hearings and debate on the topic and a mere 14% supported the government’s current policy. Download the full poll results here

“This is profoundly gratifying to me that Canadian public awareness has been raised so significantly,” stated Setsuko Thurlow. “I want to testify before a Parliamentary committee about what I witnessed as a Hiroshima survivor and to have our Members of Parliament debate what role Canada can play in the abolition of nuclear weapons.”

The high support among Canadians is similar to the high support for the Treaty found in other NATO countries. It is clear that public opinion wants to see NATO states join the TPNW. Since there are no legal barriers to NATO states joining the Treaty, it is time for their leadership to follow the will of their citizens. It is time for Canada to join the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.