2003 A New Strategy with No Long Term Space Plan: What’s in Canada’s Long Term Space Plans? Part 6

The 2003 Canadian Space Strategy. Credit: Canadian Space Agency.

In late 2003 the Canadian Space Strategy was published. It was designed to pivot from a Long Term Space Plan to a framework for Canada’s space program.

The 27 page document is meant as a guide not only for Canada’s space program, but also was intended to show Canada’s partners our path forward.

It however lacked a key ingredient, funding associated with long term planned programs. That was by design. What it does have is the base funding of $300M which was announced in the 1999 National Space Paper – The Canadian Space Program. Over and above the $300M in base funding, the space program would see additional funding on a program by program basis.

The 2003 Canadian Space Strategy

The vision

  • explore, develop and harness the potential of space in some of the most incredible initiatives humanity has ever undertaken. We will work in concert with our partners to make significant contributions to advance scientific knowledge of our world, the Universe and our place in it;
  • lead Canadian citizens and communities to take full advantage of the benefits space has to offer, particularly in the areas of telecommunications and Earth Observation, and to take their place among the top users of space products and services in the world;
  • integrate space fully and completely in Government of Canada departments and agencies as an invaluable tool to help fulfill their mandates and reach our Govern­ment’s goals for Canadians;
  • build upon our innovative national partnership linking government, industry and research institutions so that the Canadian model becomes an international paradigm for effective cooperation.

A new strategic planning tree

The core thrusts

Canada must continue to use space for the betterment of Canadians in four main ways:

  • to look down upon the Earth to observe, monitor and protect life below;
  • to look out into the depths of space to explore, learn and discover more about the Universe, as well as our place in it;
  • to look upon space as a means of communicating with each other by relaying information via satellites; and
  • to look to space as a source of inspiration to inform Canadians about their country’s advances in science and technology, and increase scientific literacy among our citizens.

Within the core thrusts is where the actual strategy was made evident, minus the details of specific programs, or costs.

It was the beginning of the end for long term space planning in Canada.

You can download the 2003 Canadian Space Strategy here.

About Marc Boucher

Marc Boucher
Boucher is an entrepreneur, writer, editor & publisher. He is the founder of SpaceQ Media Inc. and CEO and co-founder of SpaceRef Interactice Inc. Boucher has 18 years working in various roles in the space industry and a total of 25 years as a technology entrepreneur including creating Maple Square, Canada's first internet directory and search engine.