Is Space Advocacy in Canada Led by the Planetary Society?

Bill Nye and Kate Howells of the Planetary Society meet with Prime Minister Trudeau. Credit: Planetary Society.

Whether it was as the national point of contact for the Space Generation Advisory Council, serving on the board of the board of the Canadian Space Society or creating her own job at the Planetary Society, Kate Howells has space advocacy on her mind.

In this weeks SpaceQ podcast I spoke with Kate Howells who works at the Planetary Society as their Global Community Outreach Manager.

She first started as a volunteer for the Planetary Society but then talked her way into a job.

Along the way it’s safe to say she’s been a strong and vocal space advocate.

The Planetary Society is arguably the largest space advocacy group in Canada with over 3,000 paid members. Could it then be fair to say then that they are the leaders in space advocacy in Canada?

The Canadian Space Society might not like that. After-all they hold the largest space advocacy conference in Canada at the moment. But they don’t have a full-time employee who works the space advocacy front. Between conferences, the Canadian Space Society holds meetings here and there, but there’s no national coordinated effort for space advocacy in Canada. It’s the same for other space advocacy groups in Canada.

Kate and I discussed the issues facing space advocacy in Canada. She also recounts the story of how she became a member of the governments Space Advisory Board which relates directly to space advocacy, including younger space advocates.

And remember that armchair discussion on the big-time science spending in the budget with Prime Minister Trudeau and Bill Nye? The not-so-subtle pokes about the government support for the space program, or lack of, was planned.

Kate also spoke of the Space Advisory Board’s ongoing efforts to engage with government. Although they hold weekly teleconference calls, in May they’ll meet again in Ottawa for a full day of meetings including with several government departments.

Listen to my interview with Kate.


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About Marc Boucher

Boucher is an entrepreneur, writer, editor & publisher. He is the founder of SpaceQ Media Inc. and CEO and co-founder of SpaceRef Interactive LLC. Boucher has 20+ years working in various roles in the space industry and a total of 30 years as a technology entrepreneur including creating Maple Square, Canada's first internet directory and search engine.

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