OTTAWA -- Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he is proud of Gov. Gen. Julie Payette for not hiding her passion for science after she used a speech at an Ottawa policy convention to criticize people who question climate change or believe in creationism.

Payette's comments came Wednesday in a speech to several hundred scientists and researchers at the annual convention of the Canadian Science Policy Centre.

In the speech she questioned how it was still possible that people believed "divine intervention" created life or that personality is defined by astrology.

She also was incredulous there is any debate left about whether climate change is real or that it is caused by people.

Some on social media immediately questioned whether it was the role of the Governor General to speak out on such matters and others say she overstepped her bounds and even sounded mean-spirited and derogatory to Canadians with certain beliefs.

Trudeau says his government is grounded in science and applauded the strength of Payette's convictions in defending science as part of the foundation of a successful society.