The Honourable Senator Peter Harder, Government Representative in the Senate
May 17, 2017
Hon. Dennis Glen Patterson: Senator Harder, on March 7, 2017, I asked Minister Freeland about a slow bureaucratic process that is putting the future of the Inuvik ground station in the Northwest Territories at risk. Minister Freeland agreed that “this is a fast-moving sector where a lot of innovation is happening . . . there’s a real opportunity for Canada to play a leading role.”
We have attracted interest in this world-class facility from leading commercial space agencies in Norway, U.S.A. and Germany, as well as the European Space Agency. However, some of these entities initiated the licensing process for Inuvik in June 2016. Eleven months later and over two months after my exchange with Minister Freeland, these entities remain frustrated and the town of Inuvik stands to lose an important international investment and trade opportunity, which should be replacing the opportunities lost with the Arctic oil and gas moratorium.
Minister Champagne was mandated by the Prime Minister to position Canada as a top destination for global investment and promote our economic brand and to “improve supports to . . . Canadian communities looking to attract investments.”
I wish to ask him, through you, whether he would pursue this longstanding issue with his cabinet colleagues and, as his mandate states, “help reduce administrative burdens and complexity for investors”?
Hon. Peter Harder (Government Representative in the Senate): Again, I thank the honourable senator for his question and his advocacy on this issue. I would be happy to speak with the minister and seek a response.