In yet another sign of how little Stephen Harper thinks of his nation’s space program, the Canadian prime minister announced the appointment of another president of the Canadian Space Agency who appears to have no expertise in the field. The announcement was made in a low-key press release on Friday, the traditional day set aside for news you don’t care about and/or hope nobody pays any attention to.
The new president as of March 9 will be Sylvain Laporte, the current commission of patents and trademarks. He replaces Luc Brûlé, who became interim president on Nov. 3 after the departure of Walter Natynczyk, a retired general who came to the position with no space experience and served for all of 15 months.
Jim Quick, president and CEO of the Aerospace Industries Association of Canada (AIAC), praised the appointment of the career bureaucrat:
On behalf of the Board and Members of AIAC, I congratulate Mr. Laporte on his appointment as the President of the Canadian Space Agency. Mr. Laporte has a long history of leadership within various government departments and agencies and we are very pleased with his appointment. We applaud the Prime Minister for his choice and thank him for his leadership on this important file.
We are at a critical juncture for the Canadian space industry, the Agency, and the development of a comprehensive space program. AIAC is very pleased with the progress that has been made to advance the competitiveness of Canada’s future in space and the implementation of the recommendations made by David Emerson in his report to government in 2012. While there is still a great deal of work that needs to be done, we are confident that we are moving in the right direction, and we look forward to working with Mr. Laporte, CSA and the government on the continued development of a long term vision for Canada in space.
The official press release is below.
PM announces a Change in the Senior Ranks of the Public Service
Prime Minister Stephen Harper today announced the following change in the senior ranks of the Public Service:
Sylvain Laporte, currently Commissioner of Patents and Registrar of Trade-marks, becomes President of the Canadian Space Agency, effective March 9, 2015.
Master of Computer Engineering, Royal Military College of Canada
Bachelor of Computer Science, Royal Military College Saint-Jean
Since April 2011
Commissioner of Patents and Registrar of Trade-marks, Canadian Intellectual Property Office, Industry Canada
2008 – 2011
Executive Director, Industrial Technologies Office, Industry Canada
2007 – 2008
Chief Informatics Officer, Industry Canada
2006 – 2007
Director, Logistics, Canada Post Corporation
2004 – 2006
Director, Retail Merchandising and Integration, Canada Post Corporation
2003 – 2004
Director, Marketing Strategy, Canada Post Corporation
2000 – 2003
Director, Business Development and Supply Chain, Canada Post Corporation
1998 – 2000
Director, Information Systems/Technology, Canada Post Corporation
1996 – 1998
Senior Manager, Canadian Air Force Engineering Personnel, National Defence
1984 – 1996
Various positions, Royal Canadian Air Force