For the last few months, the most famous Canadian hasn’t been a pop star with stratospheric fame, but a man sitting far above it. Chris Hadfield’s tour as Commander of the International Space Station was as inspiring as it was informative for those millions of earthlings who followed his journey via his video updates (complete with cool space experiments) or his gorgeous photos of our home planet. While he was up there, Hadfield unveiled the new Canadian $5 bill, complete with a picture of the Canadarm on the back. The day it was unveiled, the finance minister, Jim Flaherty, said the bill showcased “the profound courage, determination and ingenuity of our nation and its people.”
As he usually does when one of the 34 million-odd citizens he governs does something special, Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper had a nice message Monday for astronaut Chris Hadfield on his return to Earth. “The tireless and unique efforts by Commander Hadfield to educate Canada and the world about the final frontier, which were in addition to his very onerous duties as commander of the space station, are nothing short of inspirational and have helped rekindle the dreams and excitement of becoming an astronaut.” Harper said in a statement.
It went unmentioned in Harper’s statement that, thanks to the government’s recent push to cut its spending in each department, the Canadian Space Agency was asked in the 2012 spring federal budget to slash $29.5 million in spending before the 2014-15 fiscal year.Read More