Ottawa, November 29, 2012—The aerospace and space sectors make critical contributions to Canada’s prosperity and security, but if those sectors are to remain vibrant and competitive over the next 20 to 30 years, relevant public policies and programs will need to keep pace with rapidly changing global conditions.
That is the central finding of the arm’s-length Aerospace Review, which was launched by the Government of Canada on February 27, 2012.
The Honourable David Emerson, Review Head, today submitted the Review’s report to the Honourable Christian Paradis, Minister of Industry, and released the report to the public at an event held at the Canada Aviation and Space Museum in Ottawa.
Mr. Emerson was supported in the Review by an Advisory Council of three members: Sandra Pupatello, Jacques Roy, and Jim Quick. The Review drew on information and advice from industry, researchers, organized labour, and governments across Canada and abroad.
The Review’s report is divided into two volumes: one on the aerospace sector, entitled Beyond the Horizon: Canada’s Interests and Future in Aerospace, and one on the space sector, entitled Reaching Higher: Canada’s Interests and Future in Space.
The Space volume includes recommendations that the government:
- set 10-year, 5-year, and annual priorities for the Canadian Space Program;
- conduct competitive processes when seeking to purchase space assets and services, with bids assessed on the basis of their price, their responsiveness to operational requirements, and their industrial and technological value for the Canadian space sector; and
- create conditions conducive to the expansion of space-related commercial activity.
Commenting on the Space volume, Mr. Emerson said, “Canada’s national interest demands that we make effective use of space to unlock wealth, secure our coastlines and borders, protect our population, and deliver services. This is becoming even truer as the North opens.”
Calling for a “reset” of the Canadian Space Program, Mr. Emerson said, “we need clarity of purpose with respect to what we want to do in space, on-time and on-budget delivery of space assets and services, and increased focus on space-related innovation and entrepreneurship.”
The Aerospace volume includes recommendations that the Government of Canada:
- support aerospace technology demonstration projects and collaborative research;
- negotiate bilateral cooperation agreements with traditional partners like the United States and Europe, and emerging powers like China and India;
- require that companies seeking to sell aircraft to the government make firm commitments on the industrial and technological benefits that will flow to the Canadian economy as a result of the sale; and
- work with industry, provinces and territories, academic institutions, and unions to promote studies in science and engineering, and careers in the aerospace and space sectors.
Discussing the Aerospace volume, Mr. Emerson said, “Canada has every reason to be proud of its status as a global aerospace power. Designing and building planes, helicopters, and simulators – and the systems and parts that go into them – have made us more innovative, more prosperous, and safer.”
Mr. Emerson emphasized, however, that the rise of ambitious new players means Canada cannot rest on the laurels of its past success. “We need to redouble our efforts to develop the aerospace technologies of the future and secure our place in global markets and supply chains,” he said, adding that “the right combination of business acumen, cutting-edge research, and government policies will allow Canada to remain an aerospace power for decades to come.”
The Review’s report, along with a range of background material, can be found at: aerospacereview.ca