August 18, 2017 – Ottawa – Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada
Canadians are inspired by the country’s space sector, which pushes the boundaries of deep-space exploration and fires up the imaginations of the young people who could one day become the next generation of space scientists and innovators.
Canadians also benefit from high-quality, middle-class jobs and innovations that improve their everyday lives as a result of the contributions of the country’s space sector. That’s why the Government of Canada tasked its renewed Space Advisory Board to consult with Canadians as the Government develops a national space strategy.
Today, the results of those public consultations were released in a report that was welcomed by the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, who is responsible for Canada’s space program.
The report, Consultations on Canada’s Future in Space: What We Heard, identifies six issues for the Government to consider as it develops a new space strategy:
- designating the space sector as a national strategic asset that’s essential for Canada’s sovereignty, security and economic growth;
- strengthening the capacity of Canada’s space sector to compete globally;
- adopting new policies and regulations to capitalize on the development of new space technologies;
- maintaining well-balanced government programming to support the space sector;
- renewing public education and outreach programs to inspire the next generation of Canadians; and
- revitalizing Canada’s space program to ensure it remains responsive and relevant to its international partners.
The feedback received through these public consultations, along with the ongoing counsel provided by the Space Advisory Board, will inform the Government’s work as it develops a space strategy. The goal is to ensure that a space strategy focused on scientific research and innovation raises the living standards of all Canadians and creates high-quality jobs that strengthen the middle class.
This initiative is part of the Government’s Innovation and Skills Plan, a multi-year strategy to create well-paying jobs for the middle class.
“It’s clear from the public consultations hosted by the Space Advisory Board that Canadians value the contributions made by our country’s space sector. The technologies that are designed for today’s space sector can also be used to improve the everyday lives of Canadians. These technologies generate new business opportunities that create well-paying middle-class jobs for Canadians. Our government shares the commitment of Canadians who want to see our country’s space sector build on its world-class reputation for innovation. I look forward to working with the Space Advisory Board on a blueprint that will guide the development of the next generation of space technologies and inspire the next generation of innovators.”
– The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development
“The Board was impressed with the level of engagement and knowledge shown by all participants in our round-table discussions across the country. Participants expressed deep conviction in the value of space activities to Canada. Space is a key driver of long-term economic and social growth in Canada. Space is unique in the way that it inspires, attracts and retains talent. Space is a driver of scientific progress and innovation. Space technology, services and data improve the quality of life of all Canadians. Although Canada has a very successful space program, our country has not kept pace with investments in space by other countries. As a result, we are losing our competitive edge. The Board is convinced that there is an urgent need for immediate government action to reverse the decline in Canada’s space capability, and we have made recommendations accordingly. We look forward to continuing our engagement with the public and providing advice to the Minister on the development of a space strategy and its implementation plan.”
– Dr. Marie Lucy Stojak, Chair, Space Advisory Board
Canada’s space sector employs nearly 10,000 people and generated $5.3 billion in revenue in 2015. More than 30 percent of the goods and services produced by the sector are exported to international markets.
In 2015, Canada’s space sector spent more than $256 million on research and the development of new technologies.