CSA Gets Another President With No Space Experience

Stephen Harper and cat.
Stephen Harper and cat.

In yet another sign of how little Stephen Harper thinks of his nation’s space program, the Canadian prime minister announced the appointment of another president of the Canadian Space Agency who appears to have no expertise in the field. The announcement was made in a low-key press release on Friday, the traditional day set aside for news you don’t care about and/or hope nobody pays any attention to.

The new president as of March 9 will be Sylvain Laporte, the current commission of patents and trademarks. He replaces Luc Brûlé, who became interim president on Nov. 3 after the departure of Walter Natynczyk, a retired general who came to the position with no space experience and served for all of 15 months.

Jim Quick, president and CEO of the Aerospace Industries Association of Canada (AIAC), praised the appointment of the career bureaucrat:

On behalf of the Board and Members of AIAC, I congratulate Mr. Laporte on his appointment as the President of the Canadian Space Agency. Mr. Laporte has a long history of leadership within various government departments and agencies and we are very pleased with his appointment. We applaud the Prime Minister for his choice and thank him for his leadership on this important file.

We are at a critical juncture for the Canadian space industry, the Agency, and the development of a comprehensive space program. AIAC is very pleased with the progress that has been made to advance the competitiveness of Canada’s future in space and the implementation of the recommendations made by David Emerson in his report to government in 2012. While there is still a great deal of work that needs to be done, we are confident that we are moving in the right direction, and we look forward to working with Mr. Laporte, CSA and the government on the continued development of a long term vision for Canada in space.

The official press release is below.

PM announces a Change in the Senior Ranks of the Public Service

Prime Minister Stephen Harper today announced the following change in the senior ranks of the Public Service:

Sylvain Laporte, currently Commissioner of Patents and Registrar of Trade-marks, becomes President of the Canadian Space Agency, effective March 9, 2015.

Education

Master of Computer Engineering, Royal Military College of Canada

Bachelor of Computer Science, Royal Military College Saint-Jean

Professional Experience

Since April 2011

Commissioner of Patents and Registrar of Trade-marks, Canadian Intellectual Property Office, Industry Canada

2008 – 2011

Executive Director, Industrial Technologies Office, Industry Canada

2007 – 2008

Chief Informatics Officer, Industry Canada

2006 – 2007

Director, Logistics, Canada Post Corporation

2004 – 2006

Director, Retail Merchandising and Integration, Canada Post Corporation

2003 – 2004

Director, Marketing Strategy, Canada Post Corporation

2000 – 2003

Director, Business Development and Supply Chain, Canada Post Corporation

1998 – 2000

Director, Information Systems/Technology, Canada Post Corporation

1996 – 1998

Senior Manager, Canadian Air Force Engineering Personnel, National Defence

1984 – 1996

Various positions, Royal Canadian Air Force