Marc Garneau, a former Canadian astronaut, says selling off the country's space technology threatens Canada's sovereignty.
Speaking to CTV's Question Period Sunday, Garneau urged the federal government not to sell a space technology company to American interests.
The government is currently considering selling the publicly funded MacDonald Dettwiler and Associates (MDA) to Alliant Technosystems for $1.3 billion.
The company, based in Vancouver, developed a device called Radarsat 2 that allows authorities to monitor possible incursions onto Canadian land.
"We lead the world in this technology and I'm going to give a lot of credit to MDA," Garneau said. "It's a company that's developed fantastic signal processing capability to turn all that data into images that are really, really useful."
Garneau, who is the first Canadian to go into space and the former head of the Canadian Space Agency, said the sale could affect Canada's ability to monitor its own land.
He said the move would have an impact on Canada's ability to control its own technology and would make it possible for a foreign company to keep secrets from Canada.
"The point is we took some risks. We spent some money. We developed a world leading technology. Let's not be Boy Scouts and give it away," he said.
"This is more than just an economic benefit issue. It's an issue that touches on our sovereignty as a country. The fact that this is very promising technology, which we can sell to the rest of the world...we should hold on to it."
Jim Prentice, Canada's industry minister, said last week the government would take another 30 days to decide whether or not to sell MDA in order to review the plan under the Investments Canada Act.
^ Anybody remember what happened to it?