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Majority of Canadians proud of country's space program: poll

Last Updated Jul 21, 2019 at 1:51 pm MDT

Canadian Space Agency astronaut David Saint-Jacques responds to a question during his last press conference in orbit before returning to Earth on June 24, seen on a giant screen in Saint-Hubert, Que. on Wednesday, June 19, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson

TORONTO – Canadians are a proud bunch, particularly when it comes to the country’s space program according to a poll released Sunday.

About 80 per cent of those surveyed said they are proud of Canada’s role in space exploration.

Canadians also said the space program provides invaluable technological innovations, with 73 per cent saying the country benefits from the knowledge gained from the program.

Canada’s astronauts are also greatly admired by Canadians, with 63 per cent of respondents saying the astronauts personally inspired them.

The poll also revealed widespread support for funding Canada’s space program, with 68 per cent saying the federal government should keep supporting the program. About 17 per cent said it should be reduced or shutdown.

As to what should be done with all the knowledge and technology gained from the program, Canadians said it should be kept planetside — with 80 per cent saying it should be used for disaster response. The respondents also said space technology should be used for public safety and security, at 74 per cent.

About 70 per cent said weather and climate monitoring should also be a priority.

The survey was conducted among 1,512 randomly selected Canadian adults who are members of Maru/Blue’s Voice Canada Online panel for Sun/PostMedia on July 10, 2019 and is considered accurate to within plus or minus 2.9 percentage points.