Skip to main content

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.

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.

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.

Story continues below advertisement

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.

Story continues below advertisement

Report an error
About the Author
Parliamentary reporter

Gloria Galloway has been a journalist for almost 30 years. She worked at the Windsor Star, the Hamilton Spectator, the National Post, the Canadian Press and a number of small newspapers before being hired by The Globe and Mail as deputy national editor in 2001. Gloria returned to reporting two years later and joined the Ottawa bureau in 2004. More

Comments are closed

We have closed comments on this story for legal reasons. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.