CAW calls on government to renew commitment to space technology

    TORONTO, March 12 /CNW/ - As the Canadian-built Dextre module is being
attached to the Canadarm2 at the International Space Station, the CAW is
demanding that the federal government renew its commitment to space technology
and development.
    CAW concerns follow the announcement of the proposed sale of the robotics
and space division of MacDonald Dettwiler and Associates (MDA) which
engineered and manufactured the Canadarm, Radarsat satellites and Dextre. CAW
Locals 112, 673 and 188 represent MDA workers in the robotics and space
division of MDA.
    Shareholders overwhelmingly approved the $1.325 billion sale to U.S arms
producer Alliant Techsystems yesterday.
    The Harper Conservatives have not provided adequate support necessary for
the promotion and development of this high tech industry through the Canadian
Space Agency. The CAW is calling on Industry Minister Jim Prentice to make a
long term commitment to the development and production of space and robotics
    "It's imperative that the government move immediately to ensure Canada's
future role, both nationally and internationally, in the design and
development of space technology," said Dawn Cartwright, CAW national aerospace
director. Long term requirements include our government establishing a
comprehensive sectoral strategy to retain and further develop Canada's
expertise in space.
    "The government claims we are moving to high-tech jobs, yet has made no
commitment to some of the most sophisticated technologies this country has
ever produced," said Roland Kiehne, president of CAW Local 112.

    The CAW represents workers at MDA's facilities in Brampton Ontario and
St. Anne de Bellevue, Quebec.

For further information:

For further information: CAW National Aerospace Director Dawn
Cartwright, (cell) (416) 917-7220; or CAW Local 112 President Roland Kiehne,
(cell) (416) 801-1120

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