Monday, December 03, 2012

Initial Feedback from the Emerson Report

     by Brian Orlotti

Initial feedback from the David Emerson-led Aerospace Review (now available in two volumes online at the Aerospace Review website) has been largely favorable with literally dozens of media outlets and organizations weighing in on the issue.

 Here are a few of the more notable comments:
  • According to the November 29th, 2012 Canadian Newswire (CNW) press release “Telesat Strongly Supports the Recommendations of the Aerospace Review on Canada's Future in Space” Ottawa based satellite operator Telesat, “welcomes the Report of the Aerospace Review released earlier today and believes that its recommendations provide a clear path forward for the Government of Canada. Telesat congratulates Minister Paradis for mandating the Aerospace Review and Mr. Emerson and his colleagues for their work in delivering a timely and focused report that addresses many of the critical issues facing Canada's space industry." 
Even better, as outlined in the November 30th, 2012 Vancouver Sun article, “Federal Finance Minister Flaherty in Victoria today talking budgets with business leaders” Telesat CEO and President Dan Goldberg had a chance the very next day to present those views to the Federal Finance Minister. 
The article quotes AIAC chairman David Schellenberg as stating, "Mr. Emerson recognizes the critical juncture the aerospace and space industry is facing and the urgent need for government, industry, academia and unions to adapt to a rapidly changing and highly competitive global environment. Early and effective implementation of these policies is critical to achieving the intended results. Canada's aerospace industry is ready and willing to do its part."
  • Universities and educational facilities have also weighed in on the report. As outlined in the November 29th, 2012 CNW press release "Ryerson University Welcomes Emerson Aerospace Review Report" the Toronto based facility believes that the report "reinforces the critical importance of the industry to job creation and Canada's global competitiveness." The press release quotes Wendy Cukier, Ryerson University's Vice President of Research and Innovation as stating "this is an industry where Canada is among the top five countries in the world. It generates annual revenues of $22 billion and employs nearly 66,000 Canadians. We cannot afford to fall behind.  The report reinforces the need for the sector to be a national priority. We are particularly pleased the report mentions the importance of strengthening the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) aerospace cluster." 
  • BC based MacDonald Dettwiler (MDA) also "welcomes" the release of the  Aerospace Review, at least according to their November 29th CNW press release "MDA welcomes Government focus on aerospace and space industries" which quotes MDA executive VP Dave Caddey as stating that "we are grateful to the Government and to Minister Paradis for mandating the Aerospace Review and for taking an in-depth look at this important sector. There is a clear recognition of the strategic role of space and aerospace to the economic well-being of Canada and this report is a critical first step towards revitalizing this sector. We will take the time to examine the report. We look forward to working with the government to ensure the competitiveness of the Canadian space sector for the next generation.
  • As for the traditional "mass" media, the key to their responses might lie within the headlines. 
The November 29th, 2012 Postmedia News article "David Emerson urges Canada to pump up its aerospace and space industry" covers much the same territory as the November 30th, 2012 Toronto Star story "Global threat to Canada's aerospace industry" and the November 29th, 2012 Reuters article "Review says Canadian controls hamper aerospace sales." 
Each reminds us that amidst global economic hardship, emerging new players, and an opening Arctic frontier, Canada's space sector stands at a crossroads. 
So just what specifically does the Emerson Report recommend? That will be the subject of a future post.

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