MP REPORT: Space mission inspires generations

Colin Mayes says Canada’s space policy framework will guide Canada’s activities in space

As stated on the series Star Trek: “Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no one has gone before.”

Our mission to inspire a future generation of Canadians interested in space is based on five principles for the future:  Canada first, using space to strengthen our economy, working together globally, promoting Canadian innovation and inspiring Canadians.

On Feb. 7, your government unveiled the framework for Canada’s future in space to serve as a guide for Canada’s strategic activities and future in space, ensuring a strong and commercially competitive space industry that will continue to inspire Canadians for years to come.

The framework builds on the tremendous success of astronaut Chris Hadfield.  Canada’s space industry is a major contributor to highly skilled jobs to our economy, and a great source of pride among all Canadians.  This plan will chart a course for our future in space by ensuring Canada remains a global leader in important areas of space technology and innovation.

We have a long and extremely proud history of accomplishments in space.

We are known for the Canadarm, Canadarm2 and Dextre, the hand that attaches to Canadarm2.  It is the most handy space robot ever built and is responsible for keeping the International Space Station in good shape.  Dextre also performs important intricate tasks like servicing satellites in space.

A long-term strategic plan for Canada’s space program is critical for our industry.  The space industry adds over $3.3 billion annually to Canada’s economy and is responsible for employing more than 8,000 Canadians.

We depend on communication satellites for everything from TV reception to the Internet. Remote-sensing allows us to forecast the weather, monitor the climate, protect the environment and warn of natural disasters like floods and forest fires.

Canada’s space policy framework will guide Canada’s activities in space over the coming years, as our youth of today and tomorrow grow up to be the astronauts, robotics engineers and satellite architects of the future.

A true adventure to “boldly go where no one has gone before.”

Colin Mayes is Okanagan-Shuswap MP.