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Canada's Space Policy Framework

Space is also no longer the exclusive preserve of nation-states. There is not only a lucrative and growing market for satellite products and services – global satellite industry revenues are now more than $190 billion a year – but increasingly for private sector launch capability. Today, there are more commercial Canadian satellites aloft than there are systems financed and operated by government agencies or public sector institutions. Space has become a new frontier not only for science but for commerce, and as the economic sphere continues to expand beyond the Earth, new opportunities will emerge for Canada.


In light of these current and unfolding realities, five essential principles will inform Canadian space activities.

1. Canadian Interests First

National sovereignty, security and prosperity will be the key drivers of Canada's activities in space. Canada's first priority must be to use space effectively in support of these interests.

2. Positioning the Private Sector at the Forefront of space activities

As space yields ever more commercial opportunities, the Government will focus on:

  • Supporting the domestic space industry in the innovation required to bring to market cutting-edge technologies that meet national interests; and
  • Utilizing industry where industry has greater capacity, knowledge and skill, or when it can be more efficient and cost-effective.


Global satellite industry revenues have nearly tripled since 2001, with an average 10% growth per year. In 2012, satellite communications in Canada represented 80% of space sector revenues, which amounted to a total of $2.66 billion.


In Spring 2011, heavy rain and the melting of a thick layer of snow around the Lake Champlain Basin and the Richelieu River caused floods that affected some 3,000 residences in Quebec's Montérégie region.

This animation produced from RADARSAT-2 data shows the maximum (in red) and minimum extent of the flooding in the portion of the Basin of the Richelieu River, data that was used to assess the damage and guide rescue efforts. RADARSAT-2 images were also used to aid response during the 2013 Calgary floods. Credit:* MDA Corporation / NASA / Effigis Geosolutions Inc. / Canadian Space Agency

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*The flood extent products are derived from images from Canada's RADARSAT-2 and NASA's EO 1/ALI. RADARSAT-2 Data and Products © MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. (2012) – All Rights Reserved. RADARSAT is an official mark of the Canadian Space Agency (CSA). The animation was developed by Effigis GeoSolutions Inc. Disclaimer: These products are for demonstration purposes only. The CSA is not responsible for the accuracy, reliability or currency of the information or services provided by external sources.

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