Canadian Leadership in Space: International Experts to Discuss Need for Cohesive Policy


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The need to shape a Canadian space policy is being addressed this week by a special roundtable of international experts meeting in Ottawa, a discussion that will focus on what is required to spur government action on space activities.

2009 Roundtable on Space -- New Horizons at Home and Abroad -- is being held on March 12 at the Novotel Hotel in Ottawa, Canada.

The Secure World Foundation is partnering with Canada's Rideau Institute on International Affairs on an exploration of Canada's need for a comprehensive Canadian space policy.

Participants are addressing a range of Canadian space issues, from advancing a space policy that works for all stakeholders to formulating an action plan for the year to further Canada's objectives in using space systems.

"Many Canadian ministries make use of space systems to bring services to Canadian citizens, said Dr. Ray Williamson, Executive Director of the Secure World Foundation (SWF). "However, without a government-wide policy to focus and guide Canadian space activities, the ministries' efforts tend to be uncoordinated and less efficient than they could be."

Dr. Williamson underscored the important role that The Rideau Institute is serving, endeavoring to forge a consensus about space and the benefits that space systems provide among Canadian stakeholders.

"This roundtable is providing a critical opportunity for a timely exchange of ideas between Canada's Space Agency and key stakeholders," said Anthony Salloum, Program Director of the Rideau Institute.

"It is designed to spark new ideas on advancing a national space policy for Canada that has, at its core, a vision for Canada's role in space that takes into account our national interests and commitment to the sustainable use of space."

Emerging strategic plans

A discussion of U.S. space policy under U.S President Barack Obama's Administration is to be moderated by Brian Weeden, SWF's Technical Consultant.

The 2009 Roundtable on Space will bring together about 40 representatives from key federal government departments, elected representatives, the space sector, and academia, as well as experts from the United States. Participants will discuss emerging strategic plans for the Canadian and international space sector, and ways to help advance a cohesive vision for Canadian leadership in space.

Participants taking part in the day-long roundtable include representatives from the Institute of Air and Space Law at McGill University, the Canadian Space Agency, Canadian Auto Workers, Telesat Canada, the Canadian Space Commerce Association and the Canadian Space Society.

For Media:

While the roundtable discussions are not open to media, arrangements can be made for one-on-one interviews with participants by contacting Anthony Salloum, Program Director of the Rideau Institute at: (613) 565-9449 ext/23 or via cell phone: (613) 724-1070

What: 2009 Roundtable on Space: New Horizons at Home and Abroad

When: Thursday, March 12, 2009 (Program registration 8:30 a.m.)

Where: Novotel Hotel, Ottawa, located at 33 Nicholas Street.

Secure World Foundation is a private operating foundation dedicated to the secure and sustainable use of space for the benefit of Earth and all its peoples.

SWF engages with academics, policy makers, scientists and advocates in the space and international affairs communities to support steps that strengthen global space security. It promotes the development of cooperative and effective use of space for the protection of Earth's environment and human security.

The Foundation acts as a research body, convener and facilitator to advocate for key space security and other space related topics and to examine their influence on governance and international development.

The Rideau Institute on International Affairs is an independent research, advocacy and consulting group based in Ottawa. It provides research, analysis and commentary on public policy issues to decision makers, opinion leaders and the public. It is a federally registered non-profit organization, established in January 2007.

For more information on the Institute, go to: http://www.rideauinstitute.ca/

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