Poll highlights divide in sentiment on Stanley trial outcome; Trudeau response

By Brandon Graziano
March 1, 2018 - 12:00pm

The country is divided when it comes to thoughts in the aftermath of the Gerald Stanley trial and acquittal, though that's not the case in Saskatchewan.
The Angus-Reid Institute released a report this week which showed a significant majority of those surveyed in Saskatchewan (71 per cent) believes it was inappropriate for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to comment on the matter. Among those surveyed across the country as a whole 46 per cent deemed Trudeau's comments inappropriate.

Shachi Kurl is the Executive Director at the Angus-Reid Institute. She said when it came to whether the trial was fair, Saskatchewan believes it was.
"You do see a very regional story here. It shows people in Saskatchewan have a very distinct perspective on this relative to people anywhere else in the country," she said.
Sixty-three per cent of those in Saskatchewan believed the trial outcome was fair. Manitoba and Alberta respondents surveyed showed 44 per cent believed the trail was fair. The national figure was 30 per cent.

Kurl said prairie provinces like Manitoba and Alberta are the only provinces that somewhat relate to Saskatchewan's thoughts on the matter.

"You have a sense of respondents perhaps relating a little more to the issues that were raised in the trial in a way that people in other provinces or other parts of the country don't necessarily relate to and don't agree with," she said.

Kurl said it may be a farmer's perspective on this particular topic.

"There's a couple of possible reasons for this. One might have to do with an understanding of being on a big farm or isolated and have a greater sense of relativity," she said. 

In regards to jury reform, a third of those Saskatchewan respondents believe there needs to be reform, with the rest believing change is not needed.

With files from Glenn Hicks.


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