First of all, I want to apologize for having stumbled on Ms. Nash's question. I had to fly overnight from Vancouver and spend six hours in Toronto airport to get here today, so I'm operating on low batteries.
You have put your finger on the question. Who actually controls which pictures are taken from the satellite and when they are taken? Who has priority access? Who can say “We have this single-hull oil tanker coming into the Northwest Passage, and we need images right now, so that we can send a Cormorant helicopter to do an interdiction before the tanker hits a rock and causes an Exxon Valdez type of accident”? That's what we're talking about. How do we have that priority access? How do we have shutter control?
In my reading of the Remote Sensing Space Systems Act, the assumption throughout is that Canada will remain the licensee and as the licensee will retain shutter control.
There is only one section of this act that deals with the transfer of control. It doesn't talk about the transfer of licence, but the transfer of control. That is where you find the test—there needs to be approval for any transfer of control: “In deciding whether to give an approval, the Minister”—i.e., the Minister of Foreign Affairs—“shall have regard to national security, the defence of Canada, the safety of Canadian Forces, Canada's conduct of international relations, Canada's international obligations and any prescribed factors.”
This is the discretion, the override to maintain the licence and therefore the shutter control and everything that you and your colleagues fought so hard to get into this legislation. This is what it's about. Without knowing whether or not we retain the licence, it would in my view be irresponsible to allow the sale to proceed any further.