Canada, October 31, 2014: The President of the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), Walter Natynczyk, has been appointed as the new deputy minister for Veterans Affairs, after a 13-month stint with the national space agency. The announcement was made by the Canadian Prime Minister, Stephen Harper on October 29. Natynczyk will assume his new role effective November 3, 2014.
CSA Vice President Luc Brûlé will serve as interim president of the CSA until Harper selects a permanent successor. Brûlé will be the fourth person to lead the CSA on either an interim or permanent basis since the beginning of 2013.
In August 2013, Harper appointed Natynczyk as president of the CSA, a move that surprised many as Natynczyk had little experience with space issues during his time in the military. In speeches months after taking the job, he acknowledged his lack of experience and expertise on space issues.
His tenure was marked by the release of a national space policy framework earlier this year that outlines several general principles for national space activities. Those principles included commercialisation, international partnerships, and research and developing of key technologies, such as remote sensing and space robotics, where Canada has traditionally excelled.