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Opinion

Canada can promote transparency to form and strengthen norms as opportunities expand in outer space

By Alexander MacDonald      

The absence of rules and norms has led powerful actors and spacefaring nations to declare space ‘a new operational domain,’ but Canada can decisively act in response to this ambiguity.

New legislation in Canada could be used to create and implement clear standards for sustainable space use, writes Alexander MacDonald. Photograph courtesy of Wikipedia Commons

The opportunities presented to humanity through the opening up of the new frontier—space—have been boundless. It has permeated many aspects of terrestrial life, from commerce and health, to telecommunications, and importantly, security and defence. The modern nation state has thus become dependent upon space-based technology which has led to the tethering of space assets to national interests—and Canada is no exception. The inherent vulnerability of space-based assets makes them, and the national interests they support, high-value targets for hostile adversaries. This creates a dependence-vulnerability nexus.

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