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Canada's Strategy for Satellite Earth Observation

Message from the Ministers

François-Philippe Champagne
Credit: CSA
Steven Guilbeault
Credit: ECCC
Jonathan Wilkinson
Credit: NRCan.

In , the Government of Canada proudly announced Exploration, Innovation, Imagination: A New Space Strategy for Canada. In that document, our Government committed to ensuring Canada's leadership in leveraging satellite data to support scientific excellence, innovation and economic development. With the impacts of climate change becoming more evident every day, innovations in space technologies provide Canadians with reliable and timely information to support science-based decision making, while supporting countless services across the country and driving our economy.

Canada has a long history as a global leader in satellite Earth observation technology, beginning in when Canada became only the third country to operate a satellite in orbit. We are now laying the groundwork for the continuation of that excellence. As the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, in collaboration with the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change and the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Natural Resources, we are following up on the commitments made in the Space Strategy by presenting our vision for the future: Resourceful, Resilient, Ready: Canada's Strategy for Satellite Earth Observation. Developed in consultation with industry and academia, our new strategy outlines the path to equipping Canada with as many tools as possible to confront climate change and to support Canadians in the 21st century.

Satellites are an integral part of our lives. Many of our everyday decisions, from bringing an umbrella on a walk to deciding if roads are safe to drive, are informed by data provided by satellites passing over our country. National safety and security are also dependent on the unique vantage point of space as increasingly detailed satellite data supports decision making in our communities related to wildfires, floods, and other natural hazards. Satellites help keep Canadians healthy by monitoring air quality in our cities, modelling the movement of disease-spreading species, and forecasting harmful algal blooms in our water. For Canadian industry, the growing demand for environmental and industrial intelligence is bolstering high-tech development. Start-ups and Earth observation firms are using artificial intelligence and advanced data analytics to provide science-based services, from daily crop maps that help agricultural producers feed Canadians to advanced forest growth models that help resource companies provide the products we need for a growing and vibrant population.

In this new strategy, we outline the path forward to capitalize on satellite technology for day-to-day evidence-based decision making and planning. Recent and future investments in new satellite data streams and ground infrastructure will not only help ensure core services continue to deliver for Canadians, but will also see them expand their application into areas such as public health and infrastructure. The strategy highlights our plans to bring together Canada's best scientists to work in data-rich, high-powered analytics environments where better solutions for challenges like climate change and disaster management can be developed and implemented faster. It also recognizes the potential, and the power, of bringing our observations from space down to local communities, especially in Canada's North where the use of satellite information is becoming more important as we work to build resilience to climate change. Finally, the efforts outlined in the strategy provide the foundation to directly support Canada's world-class aerospace and high-tech sectors, fuelling innovation, strengthening the economy and making our industries more competitive.

Our Government remains focused on unlocking the full potential of space technology. Recognizing social, economic, and environmental priorities here on Earth, we remain committed to equipping Canadians to excel in the jobs of the future, to support scientific excellence, to monitor and adapt to climate change, and to advance technology development for the benefit of all humankind.

The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry

The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change

The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Natural Resources Canada

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