A new coalition of organizations looking to convince the government of the value of investing in Canada’s space program began what will be a major marketing campaign today. The campaign is called Don’t Let Go Canada.
Don’t Let Go Canada
The organizations involved include some of the biggest names in Canadian space, along with industry and advocacy groups.
The 18 organizations involved are; MDA, Honeywell, Canadensys, Deltion innovations Ltd, SED, Magellan Aerospace, Xiphos Technologies, ABB, Menya Solutions, IMP Group, Neptec, SATCAN, Mission Control Space Services, the Canadian Aeronautics and Space Institute, the Planetary Society, the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, the Canadian Space Society, and the Aerospace Industries Association of Canada. The coalition hopes to add more members as the campaign progresses.
The idea was floated last fall and had some interest but work began in earnest earlier this summer to make it happen. In speaks volumes that organizations of all types are working together on such an unprecedented campaign.
“A group of concerned Canadians representing industry, academia and the space enthusiast community are gathering to ask the Canadian government to secure Canada’s place in space by putting forward a funded space strategy. If you share this view, we hope you join us online and in real life as we work to secure our place in space.” Don’t Let Go Canada Coalition
The campaign will slowly roll-out over the coming weeks and ramp up as summer turns to fall with an aim of influencing parliamentarians that now is the time to act.
A formal press release is expected soon, perhaps this coming Monday.
Some of the messaging on the website include;
“Designing, manufacturing, and controlling satellites and participating in space exploration and science missions make nations richer, safer, smarter, and better-respected. These activities fire the imagination, instill pride, save lives, and enhance quality of life…” — from Reaching Higher: Canada’s Interests and Future in Space (Emerson report volume 2)
“Space now touches the lives of Canadians 20 to 30 times a day — from weather predictions, to monitoring climate change, to using an ATM, to checking a map on a smartphone, to downloading movies, to ground and air traffic management.”
“We need a funded long-term Canadian Space Strategy to guide our way forward, and we need it now, because decisions need to be made. The most pressing? Whether to participate, or not, in the Lunar Gateway Mission. If Canada does not step forward soon, another country will seize the opportunity.”
The website also includes a Frequently Asked Questions section with details on the campaign including useful Canadian space facts.
Join the cause
The coalition is encouraging the public to join their mailing list to be kept informed on the campaign as it progresses and events that might be of interest to them. The coalition is also looking to those who support them to share the campaign on social media.
While not listed on the website at the moment, it is possible, as it had been discussed earlier on, that the coalition will ask supporters to contact members of parliament to express their support and let them know space is important to Canada.
First event this Monday
The coalition will be holding a series of events to talk about Canada’s space program and why it’s important to Canadians. The first will be held on Monday in Ottawa and hosted by iPolitics.
The event will coincide with Ipsos Public Affairs releasing a public opinion poll on Canadians’ attitudes toward space.
Don’t Let Go Canada: Securing Canada’s Place in Space event takes place between 5:00 – 7:00 pm and registration is open. The event will be live streamed on Facebook and SpaceQ will carry it live as well.
The event will also include a panel featuring;
- Mike Greenley, Group President, MDA
- Dr. Marianne Mader, Executive Director for the Canadian Association of Science Centres
- Michael Pley, President of Pley Consulting & Chair of the Space Committee for the Aerospace Industries Association of Canada
- Kate Howells, Global Community Outreach Manager, The Planetary Society
- Moderator: James Baxter, Editor-in-Chief, iPolitics
Those attending in person will be able to ask questions of the panel. It’s unclear if those watching remotely will be able to ask questions through Twitter and Facebook.
It will be interesting to gage both public and government reaction going forward. While many of these organizations lobby the government on a regular basis, this campaign is intended to reach the public.