Canadian Space Agency Budget 2017 Rollout


Speaking Points

The Honourable Navdeep Bains, PC, MP
Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development

Saint-Hubert, Quebec
April 27, 2017

Check Against Delivery

Thank you very much for that kind introduction, David [David Lametti, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development]. 

I have the pleasure of working with you on the same portfolio. 

So I know how much passion and expertise you bring to serving Canadians. 

Not to mention your unwavering commitment to serving the people of LaSalle–Émard–Verdun as their representative in Ottawa. 

I would like to thank Sylvain [Sylvain Laporte, President of the Canadian Space Agency] for welcoming us here today. 

I would also like to say a special hello to Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport. 

Minister Garneau is a familiar face to many of you. 

He not only used to be the boss around here but was also the first Canadian in space. 

Canada’s space program has a strong friend and alumnus in Minister Garneau. 

And I’m proud to call him my friend and colleague. 

Ladies and gentlemen, I’m delighted to share with you today a key element of our government’s plan to promote innovation for a better Canada. 

This plan will help more Canadian companies grow into globally competitive successes.

It will create well-paying jobs for the middle class and will ensure that the benefits of a more innovative society are shared equally among all Canadians.  

The latest numbers from Statistics Canada show that our economy grew faster than expected in January. 

It was one of the fastest growth rates in nearly six years.

According to the International Monetary Fund, our economy will be one of the fastest growing among G7 nations this year and the next. 

This growth benefits Canadians. 

We’ve seen incredible gains in the number of full-time jobs added to the economy—more than a quarter of a million over the past eight months. 

During the same period, more than 80,000 jobs were created in Quebec. 

More than half of them were full time. 

This pace of growth did not happen by chance. 

Our government is making the smart and responsible investments that have resulted in better jobs and opportunities for all Canadians. 

The space program is one of those smart investments. 

The technologies that are designed for space can be applied to the everyday lives of Canadians. 

They can point to new ways of fighting climate change or treating and diagnosing disease. 

And they create the jobs today that equip Canadians with the skills they need for the jobs of tomorrow. 

For that reason, I am proud to announce that Budget 2017 has allocated $80.9 million over the next five years to the Canadian Space Agency. 

This funding will support the demonstration of two technologies in space.

The first project is a radar instrument that will be developed for a future orbiter mission to Mars. 

This instrument would be used to study the surface and subsurface of the red planet. 

And it would contribute to developing a high-resolution map of the surface of Mars. 

Imagine that! 

Canada could play a key role in providing critical geological information for the landing sites of future spacecraft to Mars. 

The second project will contribute to advances in quantum encryption. 

This emerging field involves using highly advanced computing technology to create virtually unbreakable security codes. 

It could eventually provide Canada with more secure communications in many sectors. They include banking, transportation and information technologies. 

I’m no expert in the field of quantum mechanics. 

What I know is that it’s the physics of how matter and light behave at the atomic and subatomic level. 

This field has the potential to completely revolutionize everything we know today about computing. 

And Canada is considered a world leader in quantum computing. 

This area has incredible potential for growth and job creation in the years to come. 

Ladies and gentlemen, our government has demonstrated a strong commitment to Canada’s space program. 

In addition to the $80 million we’re investing this year, our government provided the space agency with $379 million last year. 

This funding will extend Canada’s participation in the International Space Station to 2024. 

Budget 2016 also committed $30 million over four years to support Canada’s partnership with the European Space Agency. 

Our contributions to the Advanced Research in Telecommunications System program will open up European markets for Canada’s satellite communications industry. 

Our government is also investing $8 million to support the next generation of space scientists and innovators.

This funding is allocated through the Canadian CubeSat project. 

It will provide up to 13 grants of $200,000 each for professors and students from Canadian post-secondary institutions to design, build and operate their own space satellites. 

Once these satellites are tested and ready for space, they will be deployed from the International Space Station. 

What a great way for young Canadians to develop the skills and experience they need for the jobs of the future. 

The young Canadians whose imaginations are fired up today could be the innovators of tomorrow. 

They could even be future space explorers. 

The breakthroughs and discoveries of tomorrow depend on our ability to nurture the curiosity and passion of young Canadians today. 

That’s why I’m so thrilled to be the minister responsible for Canada’s space program. 

Our government has ambitious plans for the space sector. 

We believe that an investment in space is an investment in science and innovation. 

That’s why earlier this month I announced the appointment of new members to the Government of Canada’s Space Advisory Board. 

I am pleased to recognize one of those new members who is here with us: Michelle Mendes.  Thank you, Michelle, for taking on this role and for joining us today. 

This board will support the development of long-term priorities for Canada’s space sector. 

And it will consult stakeholders to define the key elements of a space strategy, which will be launched this summer.  

Our government’s objectives, as part of the Innovation and Skills Plan, will focus on using space to drive broader economic growth.

We’ll do that by supporting talent, research and entrepreneurship within the industry. 

Ladies and gentlemen, our government believes that an investment in today’s space program is an investment in a higher standard of living tomorrow. 

It’s also an investment in a bright future for our children and grandchildren. 

That’s how an investment in space leads to innovations that lead to a better Canada.  

Thank you.

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