Transcript of Speech
The Honourable James Moore, PC, MP
Minister of Industry
September 29, 2014
Somebody might want to update my picture. The ravages of time: What are you going to do?
Thank you very much for that kind introduction. Thank you all very much for being here and providing me the opportunity to welcome you to Toronto for what is indeed a very important conference.
It is my pleasure to welcome you to Canada and to the 2014 International Astronautical Congress. You have travelled from around the world to this great city of Toronto to dialogue about the world's collective pursuits in space. Now, you know Canada is a place where the global recession hit us very hard, but we recovered earlier than most countries in the rest of the world. And we emerged from the recession with a steady, strong economy that is among the leaders in the G7.
Canada's space sector is critical to our economic well-being moving forward. It employs more than 8,000 Canadians all across Canada in well-paying jobs. The industry is vital to our economy, to our security and, of course, to our well-being. And the foundation of the industry's economic value is Canada's long-standing and extremely proud history of accomplishment in space.
We are the third country in the world to put our own research satellite into orbit and the first to have our own communications satellite. We are known for the Canadarm, Canadarm2 and Dextre and for our world-class companies that are leaders in robotics, optics, radar imagery and satellite communications.
Of course we are also known for our inspiring astronauts. The entire world—the entire world—is familiar with the extraordinary success of Chris Hadfield's mission aboard the International Space Station. Chris Hadfield was the first Canadian to take command of the International Space Station, but better than that, he also oversaw over 100 scientific experiments.
More important than that, I think, for the future of space exploration is that he inspired an entire generation of young Canadians to look to space, to think about it, and to be stimulated by the possibilities of space exploration and all the associated sciences that come with it.
I can speak to this personally. I have two nieces who live about 45 minutes away from here in Oakville. When Chris Hadfield came to Parliament Hill on Canada Day, they walked up and they said, that's Commander Chris with the moustache. They knew exactly who Chris Hadfield was because of the way he connected space to earth in a very human way for a future generation of young Canadians.
You know, it's events like this—about connecting people—that are going to be so essential to the future of space exploration. So I applaud the Canadian Aeronautics and Space Institute for hosting this year's space congress and for bringing together the world's major players.
Simply put, if we are to take more giant steps forward, we must indeed work together. And in so doing, we will ensure that we all benefit economically, socially and technologically from these advantages.
Thank you all very much for being here. I know that you will have a very active week, and I wish you all a great visit to Toronto and to Canada.
Thanks very much.