Canada's new space plan coming 2014

Industry Minister James Moore told an aerospace forum in Montreal today that Canada's new space policy has been completed and will be made public in the coming months.

Minister says policy in response to Emerson report on the aerospace industry has been completed

Industry Minister James Moore told an aerospace conference in Montreal Monday that a new space policy, drafted in response to last year's Emerson report, has been completed and will be made public early next year. (Paul Chiasson/Canadian Press)

Industry Minister James Moore says Canada's new space plan will be made public in the coming months.

Moore made the announcement Monday at an aerospace forum in Montreal which also brought together leaders of Canada's space industry.

He said the Harper government's space policy has now been completed and that he will reveal details early in the new year.

"Our companies are leaders in optics, in robotics, radar imagery and satellite communications, but we will not stop at this success," Moore declared in a speech.

His statement was part of the government's response to the recommendations of the Emerson report, which was tabled a year ago.

The report put together by former cabinet minister David Emerson criticized the Canadian space program, saying it had been floundering.

"The industry has spoken up, has worked collaboratively, has given the government advice on how to proceed (and) we've taken the advice and we're putting it into action," Moore said.

Strategic goals

Moore told space industry executives the government will examine all opportunities to work with the private sector and Canada's international partners to encourage innovation in the country's space activities.

"This framework will provide the foundation for the next phase of our government's space program," Moore said. "It will be based on the principles of partnership with other countries and the private sector, catering to our strengths and inspiring Canadians."

A background paper says the plan will outline the government's strategic goals for its space activities, which include jobs and growth, sovereignty, security and the advancement of knowledge.

Following up on the Emerson report's recommendations, Moore announced various actions, including the establishment of a space advisory board composed of industry leaders and chaired by Walt Natynczyk, head of the Canadian Space Agency.

The industry minister also said the government will double current support for its space technologies development program to $20 million annually by 2015-2016.

"This will bring the kind of predictability and stability of funding that you asked for," he told his audience. "And (it) will help develop more groundbreaking space technologies that Canadian space companies are so recognized for."

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