Thursday, January 07, 2016

CCC : Crown corporate arms dealer

"There is no better trade show for defence equipment than a military mission,"  wrote Marc Whittingham, CEO of the Canadian Commercial Corporation five years ago.

CCC is the crown corp stick-handling Canada's $14.8B arms deal with Saudi Arabia for an undisclosed number of Light Armoured Vehicles to be manufactured by General Dynamics Land Systems (GDLS), based in London, Ontario.

The new CCC CEO Martin Zablocki told an Abu Dhabi-based newspaper last year that he considers "the union of Arab states in the Persian Gulf one of the hottest markets in which to sell military wares." 
So we do military trade shows there now.

Chairman of the Board Ray Castelli is also CEO of Vancouver-based Weatherhaven, "a builder of deployable military shelters." 

This is the spot we've staked out for ourselves as regards what it pleases Justin Trudeau to refer to as Canada selling "jeeps" to the Saudi Arabian National Guard to protect the Saudi royal family.

*Global* Affairs Minister Stephane Dion said "It’s not a backing, it’s simply a private-company contract”...  skipping over the bit about Canadian taxpayers funding it via a crown corp.

For reasons of commercial confidentiality, Global Affairs Canada does not comment on specific export permit applications.” Nor do they intend "to make public a recently completed assessment of the state of human rights in Saudi Arabia."

We officially condemn the public floggings, beheadings, and of course the crucifixions, and I'm sure M. Dion was saddened to learn the Saudi *coalition* bombed a school for the blind in Yemen yesterday, but as Canada - alongside Saudi Arabia, North Korea, Somalia and Syria - has not signed the Universal Arms Trade Treaty, it's all good for business. 

The Canadian Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Tom MacDonald last February : 
"The Big One is Landed.
 A big congrats! And inspiring for all. Great day for Canadian interests. The biggest-ever single export deal in Canadian history.
This is also a breakthrough deal for CCC which will be the prime contractor and will receive a substantial service fee for its role.  CCC expects to establish a presence in KSA in due course to manage the contract."

Report on Exports of Military Goods from Canada as per

Saudi Arabia - - 2010 - 2011 and  2012 - 2013 :
  • Guns. Bombs, torpedoes, rockets, missiles, other explosive devices and charges, and related equipment and accessories specially designed for military use. 
  • Ground vehicles. 
  • Vessels of war, special naval equipment and accessories, and components specially designed for military use
  • Countermeasure equipment specially designed for military use
  • Aircraft, lighter-than-air vehicles, unmanned airborne vehicles, aero-engines and “aircraft” equipment, related equipment and components, specially designed or modified for military use. 
  • Specialized equipment for military training or for simulating military scenarios, simulators specially designed for training in the use of any firearm or weapon controlled in 2-1 or 2-2, and specially designed components and accessories
  • Imaging or countermeasure equipment, specially designed for military use.

Might be time to revisit the official Canadian definition of "jeeps".

Update : Feb 3 2016 CBC investigates the per diem expenses of the last three CCC board chairs, which include a day of golf for the board members, four days at a reception in Washington, and a junket to an airshow in Paris.
CCC says all legit and approved under guidelines. 
Kinda like those Senate per diems I'm guessing.


the salamander said...

.. somebody is clearly lying.. or dazed & confused ..

Jeeps ? What jeeps ? Like what's under the Zamboni's ?
Or like a Wrangler or Grand Cherokee with leather seats?

Stephen Harper told Canada it was not an 'Arms Deal'
because, 'frankly, these are just transport vehicles'
What th F ? Never saw a transport or semi with a turret Stevie !

In th desert you say ? kinda like Rat Patrol
Or like they had at a Leaf game last year ?

Kev said...

Trudeau the Younger has a habit of playing loose with the truth He gets away with it for the moment but euphoria of being rid of the Harperite won't last forever.

Anonymous said...

Neil Macdonald at CBC in 2015 - Campaign cone of silence descends on Saudi Arabia arms deal

"The definition of a "campaign issue" is elusive. Generally, it has to do with the self-interest of politicians and the reporters who cover them.

If the former think advancing a subject might mean more votes, they declare that "the people of Canada are concerned." Journalists then decide whether it'll sell papers, to use an old term. If the subject clears both bars, it's a campaign issue.

That entire process took place with remarkable speed last week. The subject of Canadian arms sales to Saudi Arabia was raised, became an issue and died, all within about 24 hours."

Canadians fought so hard in the last election to elect a prettier face for this deal. Now his supporters are stuck with saying jobs jobs jobs just like the party they worked so hard to get rid of.

The Mound of Sound said...

I found it cringeworthy to hear Dion on CBC defend the deal by saying "everybody is selling arms to Saudi Arabia" and "if we don't sell them these vehicles some other country will." Then Dion went on to say the Saudis have assured Canada these weapons (transport vehicles) won't be used against their own people. I wonder if they assure the US that the cluster bombs the Americans provide will only be used against Yemeni civilians, not Saudis.

For a brief moment, Alison, I pondered returning to the Liberal fold that I had left for the Greens after a run of more than 40-years. Dion reminded me that I took my leave for more than one compelling reason.

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