OTTAWA, Ont., March 22, 2016 (AIAC PR) – Today the Aerospace Industries Association of Canada (AIAC) congratulated the federal government on including a significant commitment to Canada’s ongoing participation in the International Space Station in its first federal budget, which was tabled this afternoon in the House of Commons. The budget also announced important initiatives regarding innovation and the creation of a new defence strategy.
The government has committed $379 million over eight years for the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) to extend Canada’s participation in the International Space Station to 2024. This funding will allow Canada to continue to make substantive and meaningful contributions to the international space community and creates important opportunities for Canada’s space sector. The budget also reaffirmed last year’s commitment to provide $30 million over four years for Canadian participation in the European Space Agency’s Advanced Research in Telecommunications Systems (ARTES) program.
“We are very pleased to see that the government is committed to ensuring Canada’s continued involvement in the international space community and to supporting Canadian space achievement and innovation,” said Jim Quick, President and CEO of AIAC. “This budget commitment is an important step towards the development of a long-term vision for Canada’s future in space, and we look forward to continuing to work with the government to ensure that Canada’s reputation as a global space leader is sustained for many years to come.”
The government also announced its intention to develop an Innovation Agenda with the goal of establishing Canada as a centre of global innovation. The Agenda, which will define clear outcomes, objectives and metrics for the way the government supports Canadian innovation, will be developed in consultation with Canadians in 2016-17. As part of its innovation initiatives, the budget also announced $800 million over four years, starting in 2017-18, to support innovation networks and clusters.
In addition, the government committed to the development of a new defence strategy that will include improved processes regarding costing for major defence procurements. The budget also reallocates $3.716 billion for large-scale defence-related projects from the 2015-2021 to future years, in order to align with timing of major equipment acquisitions.
“Canada’s aerospace industry is an innovation and manufacturing leader, and we are very pleased to see the government’s support for innovation in this budget. We are also pleased to see the government’s commitment to a fair, open and transparent procurement process, and we look forward to working with them on the development of the innovation and defence strategies in the months ahead,” said Mr. Quick.
AIAC is the national association representing Canada’s aerospace manufacturing and services sector. As the world’s fifth-largest aerospace industry, Canada’s aerospace sector contributes over $29B to the economy in GDP, exports 80% of its output, and dedicates over 20% of its activity to research and development (R&D). Aerospace is responsible for the employment of 180,000 Canadians.