The Canadian Space Commerce Association Critiques Proposed Federal Budget

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In reviewing the federal budget released yesterday, the Canadian Space Commerce Association (CSCA) believes that proposed government plans are not optimal for the requirements of the Canadian space systems sector.

In reviewing the federal budget released yesterday, the Canadian Space Commerce Association (CSCA) believes that proposed government plans are not optimal for the requirements of the Canadian space systems sector.

The CSCA's primary concern is with the proposed 12 - 18 month "strategic review" of the "aerospace" industry. The smaller, but growing and primarily Canadian owned space systems sector has a different set of planning and policy requirements than those appropriate for the much larger aviation industry.

Putting the two categories of businesses together for a combined policy review does neither industry any service.

By way of comparison, the Canadian aviation sector as reported by the Aerospace Industries Association of Canada (AIAC) and summarized in the Deloitte report titled "The Strategic and Economic Impact of the Canadian Aerospace Industry" registered industry revenue of C$23.6 billion in 2008 and C$22.2 billion in 2009.

But the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) 2009 State of the Canadian Space Sector Report, which tracks Canadian private sector space activities over the same period, presents a far different picture. Comparatively Canadian space industry revenues were $3.025 billion over the same period of time, though with 8% annual overall growth over the previous year, and with workforce growth continuing strong. There is also little industry overlap between the top eight mostly Canadian companies being tracked in the CSA report and the top eight companies being tracked in the Deloitte report.

These are clearly two different industries being tracked by two different reports. The CSCA recommends these two industries be treated appropriately and differently to allow each to grow and generate high quality Canadian jobs.

The CSCA is also concerned that any combined "aerospace" discussion could end up being dominated by the F-35 procurement issue, which represents the largest government aviation undertaking ever but is not the primary business concern of companies focused on satellite services, Earth imaging, novel robotics development, and commercializing new applications.

The Canadian Space Agency has already completed a review that consulted stakeholders including other government agencies, academia and industry which resulted in the creation of a Long Term Space Plan which has been sitting in Ottawa patiently waiting for approval since 2009.

The revised Department of Defence space policy which was completed last fall is similarly waiting for approval by Ottawa.

The CSCA recommends these existing policy plans be utilized immediately as the basis for a space policy review, and such a review should not be tied to, or delayed by, any new government review of the aviation industry.

About The Canadian Space Commerce Association

The Canadian Space Commerce Association (http://spacecommerce.ca) is a registered Canadian not-for-profit industry group that promotes and supports Canadian space sector businesses. We advance the economic, legal and political environment for space and aerospace focused companies. To that end, we have forged strong links with major organizations - government, research institutions and private industry.

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