Legislative Reform to Foster a Sustainable Orbital Launch Industry in Canada

  • Chen, D. K. (Examiner)
  • Martin Phillipson (Examiner)
  • Ron C. C. Cuming (Examiner)

Activity: ExaminationThesis Examination


Canada’s orbital rocketry industry is underdeveloped and governed by outdated and unclear laws that fail to attract both investors and launch providers to the market. This thesis contends that improving existing laws will provide greater certainty and clarity to investors, business leaders, and other stakeholders, in turn drawing investment to this nascent Canadian industry. An increase in investment will accordingly offer economic and social benefits to local communities and Canadians. As a product of this study, the author’s draft bill, titled the Space Transportation Authorization and Registration Act (STAR Act), illustrates the legislative improvements recommended to the Canadian federal government. The STAR Act is provided in full in chapter 5 and was drafted as a tool to bring about change in the nearly non-existent orbital rocketry industry in Canada. It honours obligations imposed on Canada at international law and learns from other domestic and foreign space-related legislative and regulatory frameworks. The STAR Act has been tailored specifically to the Canadian context, namely by leveraging Canada’s existing infrastructure as well as vast amounts of uninhabited land and lengthy coastlines, and by acknowledging the considerable barriers to entry in this capital-intensive industry. The draft bill will guide stakeholders on the operational procedures and regulatory oversight of this industry in Canada, is written in plain language to ensure understandability, and offers flexibility and adaptability to changes within the operating environment. Overall, the STAR Act was drafted to balance legal specificity with simplicity, and will facilitate the industry’s safe, secure, and sustainable growth and development while minimizing bureaucratic “red-tape”.
Period26 Apr 2022
ExamineeMason Stott
Examination held at
  • University of Saskatchewan
Degree of RecognitionLocal