The government today announced that Canadian Space Agency (CSA) General President Walter Natynczyk is leaving the agency this week and will start on Monday as the Deputy Minister at Veterans Affairs.
Natynczyk was on the job less than 16 months and replaced former Canadian astronaut Steve MacLean.
The CSA provided a comment from Natynczyk by email on his departure “it has been an honor to serve as President of the Canadian Space Agency. The Agency has extraordinary potential and an exciting destiny. I believe in its employees. I believe in its mission. Space touches every Canadian, every day of their lives. No matter where I am, I will continue to support Canada’s space program.”
Natynczyk had been working to implement the Governments vision for the agency which included the release earlier this year of a new space policy framework.
One of the key initiatives he leaves behind unfinished is the Comprehensive Socio-Economic Impact Assessment of the Canadian Space Sector being completed by Euroconsult North America. That assessment is to be completed early in the new year.
Natynczyk leaves the agency at a time when it is struggling to define its role within the current government.
Updated: 8:07 p.m EDT: The Acting President of the Canadian Space Agency is Luc Brûlé, the agency’s current vice-president.