Headlines > News > PlanetSpace not in line for cash

PlanetSpace not in line for cash

Published by Rob on Sun Oct 28, 2007 1:51 pm
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Minister Jim Prentice aborted plans yesterday to approve a project to blast tourists into space under Ottawa’s regional development program. There had been reports that PlanetSpace was in line for a $45-million share of the regional benefits flowing from a major purchase of military planes from U.S.-based manufacturer Lockheed Martin

The funding would have not been a federal subsidy, but would instead have come from the proceeds of a special agreement the federal government made when signing a $3.2-billion contract last year with U.S. manufacturer Lockheed Martin.

However it was yesterday announced by Bill Rodgers, Mr. Prentice’s director of communications that “There have been no discussions between Industry Minister Prentice or any member of his staff regarding Lockheed Martin investing $45-million of its own money in the so-called PlanetSpace space-tourism project in Cape Breton. Nor will there be any such discussions” He later added “said the government will not play a part in the project under which tourists would pay $250,000 each for a short voyage into space“

The Benefit policy outlines how “ Canada seeks to promote its international competitiveness through a strong continuing integration of scientific, technological, industrial and regional strategies and related economic activities in all parts of Canada” The Overview further outlines criteria needed to qualify for funding, it suggests “In preparing IRB proposals, bidders are encouraged to identify business activities that make good business sense, regardless of where they are performed in Canada. Any IRB meeting IRB eligibility criteria can qualify, if sourced in any part of Canada”

It seems that PlanetSpace did not qualify however as Mr Rodgers describes how Space tourism does not fit into the needed criteria and does not quality a company for the IRB “Space tourism does not qualify as an IRB [Industrial Regional Benefit] under the Government of Canada’s procurement policies and Minister Prentice has absolutely no intention of changing that. Space tourism will be left to tourists”

PlanetSpace had been working with lobbyist Fred Doucet, a former high-ranking Conservative official in the Mulroney government, on the file.
To find more information on PlanetSpace please visit their website at http://www.planetspace.org/lo/index.htm

To learn about the Canadian Industrial and Regional Benefits (IRB) Policy

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