Space Advisory Board Communications - March 2019

Minister Bains with Members of the Space Advisory Board
Minister Bains with members of the Space Advisory Board

Dear stakeholders,

The Space Advisory Board welcomes and applauds the government’s recent announcement of Canada’s participation in the Lunar Gateway, which was also featured in Budget 2019 and the launch of Exploration, Imagination, and Innovation: A New Space Strategy for Canada (PDF, 6.33Mb, 22 pages). The Board sees this as an important commitment by the government to the Canadian space sector, and a major first step toward a balanced space program

The announcement and Strategy reflected key recommendations from the Space Advisory Board’s consultation report. The Board’s main recommendation that was accepted by the Government was that space be recognized as a strategic national asset essential for Canada’s sovereignty, security, and economic growth that is worth sustaining and growing. We look forward to this recognition driving the implementation of a whole-of-government long term space plan that responds to a growing demand from the government for space-based capabilities to best serve Canadians.

There are important commitments within the Strategy that will anchor that plan moving forward. Participation in the Lunar Gateway will continue Canada’s key role in the international exploration of space, provide important opportunities for Canadian space firms, and open new opportunities for space science in Canada. We are pleased that the Strategy also includes our recommendation for the adoption of new policies and the review of existing regulations to make them responsive to emerging technologies and to the new realities of the space sector.

We believe the announcement of the Junior Astronaut Program will help to fill the need for an outreach and education program to inspire and prepare the next generation of Canadians for careers in STEM fields. Through the Lunar Exploration Accelerator Program (LEAP), Canadian industry, universities and science communities will have the opportunity to develop and demonstrate lunar technologies and to send science instruments to the lunar surface.

From the Space Advisory Board’s perspective, the announcement and Strategy signal that Canada is committed to a meaningful presence in the global space landscape, creating an environment in Canada that will retain and attract business investment, substantial engagement of academia in research, and reassure young Canadians that Canada will have a future in the space sector.

While this is the most significant commitment to the Canadian space sector in recent memory, the Board recognizes that there is more work to be done to achieve the balanced program essential for capturing all of the economic and social benefits space technology and science offers Canadians. We look forward to continuing to advise, inform and support the Minister, as he, his department and the Canadian Space Agency move forward with the implementation of the Strategy.

Finally, we will remain engaged with the public on Canada’s future in space and welcome input through contact with members by e-mail to ic.sab-cce.ic@canada.ca. Please note that the Space Advisory Board website URL has changed, here is the updated link: http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/082.nsf/eng/h_03983.html

Best regards,
Lucy Stojak, Chair
Space Advisory Board

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