The federal government needs to address many critical issues facing Canada’s space industry, says Ottawa satellite communications company Telesat.
A northern satellite receiver for Telesat.
The company says it agrees with the recommendations laid out by former federal industry minister David Emerson in a 10-month strategic review of Canada’s aerospace and space industry.
“The Canadian space program has foundered,” Mr. Emerson wrote in the report released Thursday. “This cannot continue.”
One key recommendation he made is the importance of developing security in northern Canada.
“Telesat agrees that the north presents an important opportunity and believes that it can be best addressed by leveraging the advanced capabilities of today’s satellite services,” stated Telesat president and CEO Dan Goldberg in a company release.
Those capabilities include allowing for meteorological observation in the Arctic to permit weather forecasting, modeling and environmental monitoring, in addition to increasing national security.
The review also identifies that one of the government’s main responsibilities is to make procurement decisions that strengthen domestic industries and the national economy, while respecting international trade rules and acquiring the best products at a reasonable price.
“Given that Canada is making fewer space investments than certain other countries, the government of Canada must be highly targeted and strategic when it procures space-related goods and services with a view toward enhancing the competitiveness of the Canadian space sector while at the same time achieving a good value proposition for the Canadian taxpayer,” stated Mr. Goldberg.
Earlier this year, Telesat announced plans to spend $40 million to expand and modernize broadband equipment and infrastructure to Nunavut, the Northwest Territories and the Yukon.