Friday, June 08, 2018

Even the Aerospace Industries Association of Canada (AIAC) Thinks Canada's Space Industry Requires "Urgent Action"

         By Chuck Black

The head of one of the bigger fish in the Canadian aerospace pond has come out in favor of "urgent action" to protect the future of Canada's space sector.

AIAC CEO Jim Quick at the 2016 Canadian Aerospace Summit, which was held in Ottawa, ON from November 15th - 16th, 2016. Photo c/o Philippe Cauchi/ Info Aero Quebec.

The May 18th, 2018 Vanguard Magazine post, "Jim Quick: ‘The future of Canada’s space sector is in peril without urgent action’" quoted Aerospace Industries Association of Canada (AIAC) President and CEO Jim Quick, who stated:
Changes to innovation programming forget or ignore the realities facing Canada’s most innovative industry. The future of Canada’s space sector is in peril without urgent action. All of these challenges undermine our economic leadership and are negatively impacting bottom lines, jobs, and investment for many of our members. 
Quick made those comments as part of his "Message from the CEO" in the recently issued AIAC 2017 Annual Report, Looking to the Future, which provides an overview of the aerospace industry in Canada.

As part of his message, Quick then went on to say, "As your association, we’ve heard your concerns. We know your priorities. And we know many of those priorities were not reflected at the federal level, despite our numerous efforts."

The report includes policy updates in a variety of areas, including space in a chapter titled "Space; An urgent need to invest in the future."

The front cover of the AIAC "2017 Annual Report, Looking to the Future." Graphic c/o AIAC.

As outlined in that section:
At our urging (the AIAC), the government created a Space Advisory Board to provide advice and recommendations regarding the development of a space plan for Canada. 
Through AIAC’s Space committee (chaired by Mike Pley, the former CEO of Cambridge, ON based Com Dev International and with AIAC Executive VP Iain Christie acting as staff lead), we worked closely with the Space Advisory Board and government officials to develop and advocate for the successful adoption of this space plan. 
We developed and implemented an advocacy plan targeting a broad group of political decision makers such as Members of Parliament, Ministers, and ministerial staff, educating them on the impact of Canada’s space sector on their files and constituents and the need for a long-term plan.
Of course, no space plan has as yet been developed or implemented, although the advocacy continues unabated.

The AIAC also continues to support Space Advisory Board chair Marie Lucy Stojak in her advocacy travels, most recently at the Canadian Aeronautics and Space Institute (CASI) ASTRO'18 conference, held this year in Quebec City, PQ from May 15th - 17th.

Will that be enough? We'll find out soon.
Chuck Black.

Chuck Black is the editor of the Commercial Space blog.

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