New Space Policy Framework
Jan 15, 2014

On 7 February 2014, the Honourable James Moore, Minister of Industry, released the government’s new Space Policy Framework, which will serve as a guide for the Canadian space program’s future priorities and activities. The announcement comes as a response to recommendations included in the Emerson Report on Aerospace and Space Programs and Policies for strengthening the competitiveness of the Canadian aerospace and space industries. Observers believe this is an indication that the Government recognizes the importance of Canadian innovation and industry in the nation’s current and future space programs.

“A long-term strategic plan for Canada’s space program is critical for our industry,” commented Jim Quick, President and CEO of the Aerospace Industries Association of Canada (AIAC). “In order to effectively invest in innovation, technology and product development, we rely heavily on knowing what the government’s priorities for the space program are.”

The Space Policy Framework builds on both recent and historic Canadian achievements in space, particularly the recent ­mission led by the now world-famous Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, who became the first Canadian commander of the International Space Station in 2013. The new plan identifies five key principles that will guide the Canadian space programs priorities in the future:

  1. Protecting Canadian sovereignty and security as part of the government’s “Canada First” policy;
  2. Using space to strengthen the economy through a strong and competitive Canadian space industry;
  3. Working with global partners to continue Canadian participation in major space projects such as the ISS;
  4. Promoting Canadian innovation through our proven leadership in developing technologies such as robotics (the Canadarm2) and optics (the James Webb Telescope); and
  5. Inspiring the next generation to continue building the Canadian legacy in space through involvement in the space program, industry and related fields.

Minister Moore also announced continued support for the James Webb Telescope project, which will succeed the Hubble Telescope as the next-generation space observatory. The project contains Canadian optic technologies developed by industry, the Université de Montréal, and the National Research Council Canada (which precisely directs the telescope to study stars and planets forming in other stellar systems).

“Canada’s involvement in the James Webb Telescope project illustrates our industry’s ongoing contribution to global space exploration and discovery,” said Mr. Quick. “We are extremely proud to be contributing cutting-edge technologies to this important project, and very thankful for the government’s ongoing support.”

© Frontline 2014