Vive Le Canada

Canada should control own technology, says Industry Minister
Date: Saturday, April 12 2008
Topic: Business and Money


"We need to own our technology and the intellectual property that comes with it," Prentice said in a speech at the headquarters of the Canadian Space Agency, which is on the south shore of Montreal... "The government," Prentice pledged, "will continue to foster a vibrant high-tech space industry right here in Canada... We will not accept a loss of jurisdictional control to another party or another country."




Canada should control own technology: minister




Jan Ravensbergen ,  Canwest News Service


Published: Friday, April 11, 2008


LONGUEUIL, Que. - Ottawa isn't ready to commit any fresh cash for costly made-in-Canada space work. At least, it wasn't Friday, as Federal Industry Minister Jim Prentice drove what appears to be the last spike through the heart of a controversial $1.3-billion takeover bid by which an American firm would have acquired sophisticated Canadian surveillance-satellite technology.


Under that deal, an American firm would have been permitted to acquire sophisticated Canadian surveillance-satellite and other space technology from MacDonald Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. of Richmond, B.C., the company behind the iconic Canadarm.


"We need to own our technology and the intellectual property that comes with it," Prentice said in a speech at the headquarters of the Canadian Space Agency, which is on the south shore of Montreal.



"The government," Prentice pledged, "will continue to foster a vibrant high-tech space industry right here in Canada."


However, he later responded to reporters trying to pin him down on specifics, "I'm not going to announce anything today for MacDonald Dettwiler or other companies" in the cash-hungry space business.


During his speech, Prentice went further than he ever had over Ottawa's decision - this week - to veto the proposed sale of Canadian-developed satellite technology to the U.S.


"We will not accept a loss of jurisdictional control to another party or another country," he said, reading word for word from prepared remarks.


But Prentice would not provide a flat-out declaration that the MacDonald Dettwiler deal is dead beyond any possibility of resurrection.


Discussions will continue between his department officials and Alliant Techsystems Inc., the prospective buyer, the minister said, while the clock continues to tick down on the 30-day waiting period triggered with Prentice's letter declaring the deal has no net benefit to Canada.


MacDonald Dettwiler developed both the Canadarm technology used by the space shuttle and Radarsat-2, a powerful Arctic observation satellite.


Canada uses Radarsat to monitor Arctic sovereignty.



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