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Canada's Strategy for Satellite Earth Observation

Moving forward

Today, Canada's coasts, waters, and cities are changing rapidly as a result of accelerating climate change. Canada's future economic and environmental security depends on our ability to keep up with, understand, and respond quickly to these new realities. With a sustained and collective effort across Canada, through a new paradigm of a coordinated whole-of-society approach and increasing ease of access to open data, the benefits derived from satellite EO can be leveraged to strengthen the economy and address global issues.

The challenges of the 21st century demand that Canada respond with 21st century tools: an integrated free and open satellite EO system capable of putting Canadians in a position to thrive. As other countries invest in their own systems, Canada cannot fall behind in its economic competitiveness or in its service to citizens. As a responsible global actor, Canada also cannot lag behind in its contributions to global science efforts on climate change and other pressing issues.

As entrepreneurs look to start new companies, university departments look to identify necessary skills, and industries look to grow their workforce, long-term strategies such as this are vital in providing stability and confidence. Nonetheless, over the coming 15 years, the GC will continue engaging with experts and users across the country to adapt to changing needs and priorities. This strategy is therefore a strong, yet flexible, commitment to our future.

Between now and 2035, the GC will be guided by the vision and commitments of this document. Over this period, responsible investments, flexible programing, and strategic partnerships will strengthen the Canadian economy, enable GC departments to better meet their mandates, and make Canada truly Resourceful, Resilient, and Ready.

Credit: Bristol Aerospace

Satellite EO in action:
The Power of Open Data for Science

Launched on August 12, 2003, SCISAT helps Canadian and international scientists improve our understanding of the depletion of the ozone layer, with a special emphasis on the changes occurring over Canada and in the Arctic. Originally intended to last two years, the satellite remains operational 17 years later, with its mission currently extended through . For more than 15 years the satellite has also been tracking the presence of more than 60 different gases to identify their role in ongoing climate change. The SCISAT mission is an exemplary case of partnership between universities, government, and industry. SCISAT data is free and open to researchers, students, and industry to innovate with and contribute to the advancement of a knowledge economy. As we face significant challenges associated with climate change, we require authoritative data on what it means for Canada. This is possible through open data from missions like SCISAT that allow government and academic researchers to work together and inform policy decisions on mitigating and adapting to climate change.

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