Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Tony Clement : Under New Management

G&M  Aug. 26 2015 : Harper assured details of Saudi arms deal would stay under wraps
"Ottawa is contractually obliged to keep secret the details of a controversial $15-billion arms sale to Saudi Arabia – a transaction that Stephen Harper personally assured the country’s monarch will be guaranteed by the Canadian government, documents say."
G&M Jan.11, 2016 : Tories press Liberal government to justify Saudi arms deal
"The Liberal government is facing increasing pressure to make public the most important deliberations on Canada’s $15-billion sale of combat vehicles to Saudi Arabia: precisely how the transaction is justified under this country’s strict weapons export control regime.
 Mr. [Tony] Clement acknowledges that the Conservatives are asking for information they refused to release while in office under Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
But he says the new leadership of the Conservative Party feels differently."

Dear Tony
Congratulations on "feeling differently". We eagerly look forward to the new management pressing for details of other secrets withheld by the former management. 
Here's a partial list to get you started : Stephen Harper, Serial Abuser of Power

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 international.gc.ca

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.

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