Saturday, February 14, 2009

Keeping Red Wilson in the black

Dare I detect an incestuous exercise of “You scratch my back, and I’ll scratch yours”?

December 2006:
Red Wilson’s pet project the Historica Foundation receives $17 million grant from the Harper government

July 2007: Red Wilson appointed by Harper to lead a panel to review foreign investment in Canada, at a time of considerable public angst over this matter

July 2008: Red Wilson panel advocates for MORE foreign takeovers through relaxation of sectoral constraints on foreign takeovers, the obverse of what spawned the panel’s ostensible formation

February 2009: Red Wilson’s CAE of which he is Chairman receives a 20 year contract from the Harper government to build $329 of flight simulators:

Harper announces $329 million contract for CAE
By Paul Vieira, Canwest News ServiceFebruary 14, 2009
Financial Post

OTTAWA - Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced Friday in Montreal a $329- million contract for flight simulator maker CAE Inc. to help build state-of-the- art products for the Canadian Forces.

The contract was more than a year in the making, but key details - most important, the expected boost to CAE's bottom line - were unknown until Friday.

At a media conference held at CAE's suburban Montreal headquarters, Harper and Robert Brown, company chief executive, said the contract would create and sustain about 330 jobs for the first three years and 50 jobs for the next 20 years throughout Canada.

CAE's stock was halted most of the day pending the mid-afternoon announcement. In an abbreviated trading session, the company's stock climbed 12 cents to end the week at $7.57 on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

Brown said the company hopes to use this contract to win similar pacts with other countries' armed forces.

``By leveraging the capabilities of CAE and other leading Canadian companies, we are benefiting many provinces across Canada while also positioning CAE for future international training systems integrator opportunities,'' he said, in reference to a pan-Canadian consortium that will work with CAE to develop the necessary products.

Harper portrayed the contract award as an initiative aimed toward adding stimuli to the struggling economy. However, this contract dates back to November 2007 when the government notified CAE it had won a deal to serve as the prime contractor to provide the training systems and services for Canada's tactical airlift, medium-to-heavy helicopter and potentially other aircraft fleets.

The $329-million contract is divided in phases. Initially, it will be the lead in designing and developing a variety of training systems and services for a new fleet of 17 C-130J Hercules tactical aircraft. There is also 20-year in- service support phase, in which CAE will be responsible for providing a range of training services, including simulator upgrades.

CAE will subcontract work to members of the consortium.

``Not only does this announcement ensure that the men and women of the Canadian Armed Forces will get the best flight training, but it will create well-paying jobs now, and for the 20-year lifetime of the contract,'' Harper said. ``And it will strengthen Canada's reputation as a leader in aerospace innovation.''

In recent days, the Liberal and Bloc Quebecois parties attacked the Conservative government for not doing enough to help the aerospace sector, which has a big presence in Quebec. Announced layoffs at Bombardier Inc. gave the opposition parties much-needed ammunition.

Financial Post


Dr Mike said...

Red ($$$$$$$$$$) Wilson---got to love him , he knows where his bread is buttered.

Who needs a stimulus package when your best bud is the PM who will personally give you the keys to the family car as long as you are his good soldier.

My only question is , how do I get on the Harper panel??


Dr Mike.

Anonymous said...

Brent--another approach is to say it all shows the power of reciprocity
as a social norm. Some sociologists argue that reciprocity is THE most
powerful norm in society.


Anonymous said...


Reads like a one-off Red Wilson stimulus plan.

Anonymous said...

Hmm the "Scratch my back and I'll scratch yours" is obvious. Not seeing much "reciprocity. If this was actually a "reciprocal" arrangement there would be some benefit to tax payers.
None here .. Only more news of more foreign takeovers, no guarantees of work for Canadians in exchange for those sweet contracts, increase of military spending on non-peace keeping related things, playing games with the TSE, and another excellent example of Harper lying to the public and mis-representing facts. Interesting this contract dates back to 2007 ...