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A volunteer stands inside a full-body scanner during a demonstration at the Transportation Security Administration facility at Ronald Reagan National Airport on December 30, 2009 in Arlington, Virginia.
A volunteer stands inside a full-body scanner during a demonstration at the Transportation Security Administration facility at Ronald Reagan National Airport on December 30, 2009 in Arlington, Virginia.

Angus-Reid poll

Body scanners don't faze Canadians Add to ...

Canadians are apparently okay with the pending installation of full-body scanners in major airports, even though the devices can see through clothes.

An Angus Reid poll released Thursday suggests that the majority of us believe the purchase of security equipment announced this week by Transport Minister John Baird is a good thing.

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In the online survey of 1,019 Canadian adults, 44 per cent of respondents said they strongly support the use of these scanners to screen all passengers travelling to and from Canada. And another 30 per cent of respondents said they moderately support relying on the new security measure.

In the survey, the respondents were shown a picture of an airport scanner's three-dimensional outline of a woman who appears to be naked except for explosives and a gun.

Despite the intrusive nature of the machines, two-thirds of the people taking part in the survey said people taking part in the survey said they would rather go through the scanner than endure a full-body pat down.

Conversely, 18 per cent of respondents would rather skip the scanner and go for the pat-down.

Mr. Baird announced on Tuesday that of 44 full-body screening machines would be installed at airports that serve as major international hubs including Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Montreal, Ottawa and Halifax.

A dozen scanners are expected to be delivered by the manufacturer within a week, with the rest to come in six to 10 weeks.

The machines are part of the government's response to a worldwide increase in airport security following a failed terrorist attack on Christmas Day, in which Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab allegedly carried explosives onto a U.S.-bound plane after clearing security in both Nigeria and the Netherlands.

The poll, which was conducted on Jan. 5 and 6 is expected to accurately reflect to opinion of the Canadian public within a margin of error of 3.1 per cent.

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