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The Hamilton Spectator
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Friday August 4, 2006
A new poll suggests Tory support is sliding over voter concern that Canada has become too cozy with the United States on Middle East policy.

The latest results by Decima Research, released to The Canadian Press, put the Conservatives and Liberals in a virtual tie nationally. The Tories had 32 per cent support compared with the Liberals' 31 per cent and 16 per cent for the New Democrats.

But in a gesture Tory officials predict will halt the slide, Prime Minister Stephen Harper is poised to announce a greater contribution from Canada to the Mideast humanitarian crisis.

Rahim Jaffer, chairman of the Conservative caucus that meets this week for a retreat in Cornwall, hinted last night at an aid announcement.

"There are a lot of issues that can come up in discussions how to deal with refugees that are currently displaced, humanitarian assistance and there is a host of issues that we can actually deal with that Canada has a long-standing tradition of helping nations that are in need," Jaffer said.

Harper and his government have taken the line that Israel's attacks on Lebanon are a "measured" response to attacks by Hezbollah guerrillas. That stance has resulted in harsh criticism from many in Canada's Lebanese community and frontrunners in the Liberal leadership race. Source.

Mideast taking a toll on Tories